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Written declaration No. 604 | Doc. 14035 | 20 April 2016

Reproductive health and women's rights in Poland

Signatories: Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Ingrid ANTIČEVIĆ MARINOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Ángela BALLESTER, Spain, UEL ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Mr Roland Rino BÜCHEL, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Hendrik DAEMS, Belgium, ALDE ; Ms Elvira DROBINSKI-WEIß, Germany, SOC ; Ms Josette DURRIEU, France, SOC ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Rainer GOPP, Liechtenstein, ALDE ; Ms Eva-Lena JANSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Ögmundur JÓNASSON, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Vasiliki KATRIVANOU, Greece, UEL ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Pierre-Yves LE BORGN', France, SOC ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Dirk Van der MAELEN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Marit MAIJ, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Liliane MAURY PASQUIER, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Anouchka van MILTENBURG, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Bernard PASQUIER, Monaco, ALDE ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Paul SCHNABEL, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Chiora TAKTAKISHVILI, Georgia, ALDE ; Mr Damien THIÉRY, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Krzysztof TRUSKOLASKI, Poland, ALDE ; Ms Nada TURINA-ĐURIĆ, Croatia, ALDE ; Mr Mart van de VEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Ms Birutė VĖSAITĖ, Lithuania, SOC ; Ms Alina ZOTEA, Republic of Moldova, ALDE

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.

Undersigned parliamentarians express their worries about current developments with regard to reproductive health and women’s rights in Poland.

An initiative has been taken by an anti-abortion organisation to propose a law introducing a complete ban on abortion and defining the concept of “prenatal murder”. Additionally, there is a proposal to replace the term “human foetus” with “conceived child” where possible.

The party “Law and Justice” has plans to end State funding for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Finally, there is a plan to reinstate a prescription requirement for "morning after" emergency contraceptive pills.

Poland already has one of the strictest laws on access to abortion, which leads to the number of terminated pregnancies at around 80,000 per year, and perhaps as much as 200,000 including illegal procedures and “abortion tourism” to EU countries with more lenient laws.

It is well known that legal barriers to abortion services do not decrease the rate of abortion, but increase the risk of maternal mortality, due to illegal and unsafe abortions. It is proven that the rate of abortions can only be reduced by improving the access to contraceptives, providing comprehensive information on family planning, and introducing better policies reconciling family and work.

We therefore call upon all parliamentarians to go against these intitatives and protect women’s rights in Poland.