Protests against Constitutional Court ruling on ‘eugenic abortion’

On Thursday, several hundred people protested in Warsaw against the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court (TK) which ruled that “eugenic” abortion is unconstitutional. Demonstrations also took place in other major Polish cities, including Kraków, Szczecin, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Łódź.

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The protests broke out after the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that terminating a pregnancy in cases where doctors determine that the foetus is damaged in such a way that the child is highly probable to suffer from a severe disability is unconstitutional. Two judges had a dissenting opinion.

In Warsaw, several hundred protesters gathered at the premises of TK in the city centre, then moved to the headquarters of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and finally to the district of Żoliborz in the northern part of the city, near the house of Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Participants at the gathering brought banners with slogans such as: “You have blood on your gowns,” “The law is supposed to protect us“. They also chanted “disgrace”, “Judges create women’s hell” and “Solidarity is our weapon.” They also unveiled a long banner with the slogan “F*CK OFF”.

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Because Warsaw is in the COVID-19 “red zone”, large gatherings are forbidden. Nevertheless, more and more people joined the protest, despite police warnings that this was an illegal gathering.

After midnight, the protesters gathered near Mr Kaczyński’s house which was surrounded by the police. They remained there to around 2am.

There were some violent incidents, according to reports, police were attacked by protestors throwing stones. “Police officers reacted when some people who gathered on Mickiewicza Street attacked the police by throwing stones at them and tried to breach the perimeter. To restore order, the Police used tear gas and physical force,” the police announced in a statement.

A total of 15 people were detained, one of them was released. “Fourteen remain in custody for taking part in an illegal gathering and breaching the personal inviolability of police officers,” Sylwester Marczak, the spokesman of Warsaw Police said on Friday.