ENTERTAINMENT

Poland tightens abortion laws: protesters and riot police clash


Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Friday evening on a second day of demonstration against an almost complete ban on abortion in cities across Poland.

The Polish Catholic Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that existing legislation allowing abortion of malformed fetuses was "incompatible" with the protection of life.

Police vehicles and units in riot gear were sent to guard the Warsaw home of the leader of the Polish right-wing party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

An angry crowd, mostly young, confronted the cordon with chants of "This is War" and vulgar demands for the ruling team to step down. They also had posters that read "You have blood on your hands" and "You are building women's hell".

Hundreds of others gathered outside churches in the cities of Poznan and Katowice as heavily armored police officers stood guard.

A protester walks in front of police officers who are blocking a street near the house of Justice and Justice Jaroslaw Kaczynski on Friday evening in Warsaw, Poland, to protest further restrictions on abortion law

People are protesting the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law near the home of Legal Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday evening

People are protesting the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law near the home of Legal Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday evening

A protester wearing a rainbow mask meets the riot police in Warsaw on Friday evening after the Constitutional Court's decision the day before

A protester wearing a rainbow mask meets the riot police in Warsaw on Friday evening after the Constitutional Court's decision the day before

Protesters argue with police officers during a protest against the imposition of further restrictions on the abortion law in Wroclaw, Poland, Oct. 23, 2020

Protesters argue with police officers during a protest against the imposition of further restrictions on the abortion law in Wroclaw, Poland, Oct. 23, 2020

Polish riot police bar the participants of the "March of the Silent Women" during their protest against the tightening of the abortion law in front of the Curia headquarters of the Catholic Church in Poznan, western central Poland

Polish riot police bar the participants of the "March of the Silent Women" during their protest against the tightening of the abortion law in front of the Curia headquarters of the Catholic Church in Poznan, western central Poland

Polish riot police cordon off the participants of the "March of the Silent Women" in front of the Curia headquarters of the Catholic Church in Poznan during their protest against the tightening of the abortion law

Polish riot police cordon off the participants in the "March of the Silent Women" in front of the Curia headquarters of the Catholic Church in Poznan during their protest against the tightening of the abortion law

The riot police guarded the entrance to a Catholic church in the city of Poznan on Thursday evening

The riot police guarded the entrance to a Catholic church in the city of Poznan on Thursday evening

A woman holds a placard during a protest against the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law in Gdansk, Poland

A woman holds a placard during a protest against the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law in Gdansk, Poland

Police block a street as people protest against the imposition of further restrictions on the abortion law near the Constitutional Court building in Warsaw on Friday evening

Police block a street as people protest against the imposition of further restrictions on the abortion law near the Constitutional Court building in Warsaw on Friday evening

Poland's abortion laws

Abortion is prohibited except:

When a woman's life or health is threatened by continuing pregnancy.

When pregnancy is the result of a crime like rape or incest.

Officers warned with megaphones that the Warsaw gathering was illegal. It wasn't clear if Kaczynski was home.

The protesters also marched through other large cities such as Krakow, Wroclaw and Szczecin.

The Constitutional Court's decision has been condemned by legal groups from around the world.

"Yesterday's decision represents a total ban on abortion in Poland, as 98 percent of legal dismissals in Poland are due to fetal malformations," said Krystyna Kacpura, head of the Federation for Women and Family Planning.

“It is a shame of the Polish state towards half of the population, women. We will never forget. & # 39;

Kacpura said the situation for women with modest means is particularly worrying.

"They are just left with various dangerous methods, like abortions performed by unqualified people using methods I don't even want to talk about," she said.

"We just got the Ceausescu era through," she added, referring to the late Romanian dictator who severely restricted abortions to increase birth rates.

Polish riot police cordon off the participants in the "March of the Silent Women" during their protest against the tightening of the abortion law near party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw

Polish riot police cordon off the participants of the "March of the Silent Women" during their protest against the tightening of the abortion law near party chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw

Polish riot police blocked protesters in Warsaw on Friday evening near party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Law and Justice (PiS)

Polish riot police blocked protesters in Warsaw on Friday evening near party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Law and Justice (PiS)

Thousands of people took part in a protest against the tightening of the abortion law in Krakow, southern Poland, on Friday evening

Thousands of people took part in a protest against the tightening of the abortion law in Krakow, southern Poland, on Friday evening

Protesters gather outside a church in Katowice, Poland on Friday evening

Protesters gather outside a church in Katowice, Poland on Friday evening

A masked protester takes part in protests against the imposition of further restrictions on the right to abortion near the house of the legal and judiciary Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw

A masked protester protests against the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law near the home of Legal Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw

Protesters take part in a demonstration against a Constitutional Court decision restricting abortion rights in Warsaw

Protesters take part in a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw

Police are blocking a street near the house of Legal Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski during a protest against further restrictions on abortion rights in Warsaw, Polan

Police are blocking a street near the house of Legal and Justice Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski during a protest against further restrictions on abortion rights in Warsaw, Polan

Protesters take part in a demonstration against a Constitutional Court decision restricting abortion rights in Warsaw, Poland

Protesters take part in a demonstration against a Constitutional Court decision restricting abortion rights in Warsaw, Poland

Protesters take part in a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw

Protesters take part in a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw

People take part in a protest against the tightening of the abortion law in Krakow, southern Poland, on October 23, 2020

People take part in a protest against the tightening of the abortion law in Krakow, southern Poland, on October 23, 2020

The ruling was immediately condemned by the Council of Europe, the leading human rights organization on the continent, whose Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, called it a "sad day for #WomensRights".

Donald Tusk, a Pole who now heads the European People's Party after the Presidency of the European Council, called the timing of the abortion issue "political malice".

"The subject of abortion and throwing a pseudo-court decision into the midst of a raging pandemic is beyond cynical," he tweeted.

The ruling is in line with what the right-wing party for Law and Justice (PiS) wanted.

A protester shows her hand that reads "Get out of here" during a demonstration against a Constitutional Court decision restricting abortion rights in Warsaw, Poland

A protester shows her hand that reads "Get out of here" during a demonstration against a Constitutional Court decision restricting abortion rights in Warsaw, Poland

A protester shows a V-sign with her finger during a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw, Poland

A protester shows a V-sign with her finger during a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw, Poland

Protesters hold a banner reading "Women's Strike" as they take part in a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw

Protesters hold a banner reading "Women's Strike" as they take part in a demonstration against a decision by the Constitutional Court to restrict abortion rights in Warsaw

People protest against the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law near the home of Legal Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw, Poland

People protest against the imposition of further restrictions on abortion law near the home of Legal Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw, Poland

From now on, abortions are only permitted in the event of rape, incest or if the mother's life is threatened.

The Polish Presidency and Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, head of the Polish Bishops' Conference, welcomed the verdict.

The constitutional court was reformed by the PiS government and has since been accused of having many loyal judges in its ranks.

The country of 38 million sees fewer than 2,000 legal abortions per year, but women's groups estimate that up to 200,000 procedures are performed illegally or overseas.

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