How Polish Women are Pushing Back on Anti-Abortion Policies

Read more Ms. Marches posts here. Join the Ms. Marches Facebook group to find protests—and feminists!—near you.

In 2016, the Polish right-wing ruling party PiS (Law and Justice) proposed an outright ban on abortion, prompting thousands of women to take to the streets in what became known as #BlackProtest. In their wake, the government decided to fold the proposal—but not for long. 

The Polish government proposed another ban on abortion, and launched another wave of protests, last July. And although the ban has not yet been signed into law, anti-abortion leaders in government and the Church show no signs of slowing down. Instead, they’re changing tactics—slowly and silently working to restrict a woman’s right to contraception and the morning after pill

Poland already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the world. Women can legally only terminate a pregnancy when the mother’s life is in danger, when the fetus may show signs of disease that are incompatible with life or if the pregnancy was the result of incest or rape. Polish women have therefore been forced to search for safer treatment abroad, a phenomenon that was referred to as “abortion tourism.” Even in cases where abortion is legal in Poland, it is extremely difficult to get one; doctors often refuse to perform the procedure and say it violates their beliefs.

The alternative is backstreet abortionsThe result is a growing black market for critical reproductive health care. These options often end in death. Polish politicians and the Catholic church claim that an abortion ban would protect “unborn life,” but women’s lives seem to be of no concern to them.

Thousands of women have protested to lift Poland’s draconian restrictions on abortion. (Iga Lubczańska / Creative Commons)

Donald Trump’s election in 2016, just one year after Poland elected a right-wing government of its own, also had immediate consequences for Polish women. On the campaign trail, Trump said that women should be punished if they were to have an abortion; once elected, he re-instated and expanded the Global Gag Rule, putting health care providers around the world at risk of losing critical funding if they so much as mentioned abortion to their patients.

But change is possible—and women across Europe are determined to reclaim their rights. While Polish women marched on, lawmakers elsewhere took action. In May of 2018, Ireland voted to overturn the abortion ban in their country, making terminating pregnancy a right for all Irish women; in the wake of Trump’s Gag Rule, the Netherlands and a few other countries came together and raised funds to fill new gaps. 

Poland will have the chance to usher in new leaders this year in two elections—and if we’ve learned one thing since 2016, it’s that the outcome will matter for women in the region and around the world. Protests and marches matter, but they’re more like trying to fight a disease once it’s already started. If we want to prevent the problem altogether, we’ll have to march to the polls.

Olga Mecking is a writer living in the Netherlands.

ms. blog digest banner

The post How Polish Women are Pushing Back on Anti-Abortion Policies appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

Ms. Magazine Blog

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Trevor Noah Calls Out Kirsten Gillibrand for Past ‘Racist’ Policies

Comedy Central

This past weekend, during Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s first big Sunday show interview since she announced she is running for president in 2020, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked her a fairly straightforward question: “If Trump’s immigration positions are racist, were they racist when you held some of those positions as well?”

After a pause, she told Tapper, “They certainly weren’t empathetic, and they weren’t kind, and I did not think about suffering in other people’s lives.” Sen. Gillibrand explained that she only discovered how “wrong” she was about the issue after visiting Brooklyn and learning from Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.

“Damn, Jake Tapper got her on that one,” Trevor Noah said Tuesday night during a Daily Show segment about the various apologies that have launched the early Democratic presidential campaigns this month. “It’s hard for her to say Trump’s policies are racist, but her identical policies were just unkind.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

The Daily Beast — Entertainment

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Trevor Noah Calls Out Kirsten Gillibrand for Past ‘Racist’ Policies

Comedy Central

This past weekend, during Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s first big Sunday show interview since she announced she is running for president in 2020, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked her a fairly straightforward question: “If Trump’s immigration positions are racist, were they racist when you held some of those positions as well?”

After a pause, she told Tapper, “They certainly weren’t empathetic, and they weren’t kind, and I did not think about suffering in other people’s lives.” Sen. Gillibrand explained that she only discovered how “wrong” she was about the issue after visiting Brooklyn and learning from Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.

“Damn, Jake Tapper got her on that one,” Trevor Noah said Tuesday night during a Daily Show segment about the various apologies that have launched the early Democratic presidential campaigns this month. “It’s hard for her to say Trump’s policies are racist, but her identical policies were just unkind.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

The Daily Beast Latest Articles

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

John Oliver Blasts the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies as ‘Old-Timey Racism’

“Immigration is a system that brought you me!” John Oliver reminded his viewers on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, but he promised it won’t happen again.

As the midterm elections approach, President Donald Trump has put immigration back in the spotlight, and pledged to send U.S. troops to the southern border because, as Oliver described it, “Young strong men were coming for our women.”

“That’s such old-timey racism that I’m genuinely amazed that it doesn’t turn black and white while he talks like Pleasantville in reverse,” Oliver said.

Instead of focusing on the soldiers, Oliver opted to look back at something Trump’s administration previously did—the family separation policy, which led to nearly 2,000 children being taken from their parents in a six-week period.

The policy, which even Trump called “so sad,” was even more “malicious and incompetent” than we knew, according to Oliver. He emphasized that government entities that were responsible for tracking and reuniting the children with their parents were “incomplete and inconsistent” and “vulnerable to human error.”

“You shouldn’t be able to lose children in a government system as easily as in a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit,” he said. According to Oliver, the government has admitted 220 children have yet to be reunited with their families. Just two weeks ago they “found 14 more” children who were missing and apparently no one in the government was aware. As Oliver notes, when 12 boys were stuck in a cave in Thailand, there were live cameras and Elon Musk “was sending submersibles and calling rescuers pedophiles.” While Oliver added that he was not advocating for a repeat of that scenario, he would like people to pay attention.

According to Oliver, the answer as to how the U.S. implemented this separations policy was “incompetently and cruelly,” and as for the why, he has an idea. Since the Trump administration claims that family separation was not implemented as a deterrent for immigration, Oliver has a different theory: “It’s a hard right turn toward demonizing immigration that some might call racist and some might be wrong about.”

According to Oliver, while immigrants are less likely to commit crimes once they cross a border, the Trump administration has characterized immigrants as “violent gang members, known criminals, and people from the Middle East.” Oliver suggested that the administration should just add to the list other things they hate, for instance “Planned Parenthood, gays who want wedding cakes, Black Santa, and a 30-foot Nancy Pelosi.”

As Trump orders troops to the border, he has also suggested he may re-implement the family separation policy. However, Oliver pointed out that while surrounding the border with “randomly firing flamethrowers and snakes that had been trained to stand up whenever anyone approached” might work to deter immigration, “we don’t do things like that because that’s not supposed to be who we f—- are.”


Entertainment – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE: