Poland: Parliament and President Disagree on Abortion Ban
Poland's parliament introduced a constitutional amendment last week that would ban all abortions in the country, but both the President and Prime Minister have expressed their disapproval of the ban. Right-wing, Catholic members of parliament, known as the League of Polish Families (LPF), introduced the law, which is similar to Nicaragua’s recent abortion ban, that would further limit Poland’s strict abortion laws, which only allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to a woman’s health. Supporters of the ban want to include the right to life "from the moment of conception" in the constitution, according to AFP. Marek Kotlinowski, deputy director of LPF said about cases of rape, "A child should not be punished for the crimes of his father... It's a tragedy for the women, but the fate of the child interests me more," Reuters reports.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his brother Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski have both announced their intent to reject the proposed amendment. "I am for keeping the status quo," President Kaczynski said, according to Reuters. "The compromise reached on abortion 13 years ago is good." The bill is currently in committee and a vote in the lower house is expected in the next few months, but without the support of the president and the prime minister, the bill is likely to fail, Reuters reports.
Many feminist organizations in Poland argue that a complete ban will only lead to more back-alley abortions, a practice which is not uncommon in Poland. "Nobody will force a woman to have children if she does not want [them]. It is total hypocrisy to put a complete ban on abortions when everyone knows the black market exists," said Wanda Nowicka, president of the country's family planning federation, reports AFP.
Media Resources: AFP 10/26/06; Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy 10/31/06; Reuters 10/28/06
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .