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Rally in Solidarity with Women’s Rights in Poland

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In Poland, on October 22nd the Constitutional Tribunal eliminated Polish women’s already limited reproductive rights. The new restriction bans terminations of pregnancy in the case of severe fetal impairment, which currently accounts for 98% of legal abortions in the country. This amounts to a near total ban on legal access to abortion. Now, women are forced to carry their pregnancies to term, no matter what the circumstances. Their only other option is to seek unsafe alternatives or to leave the country to access an abortion abroad.

On October 22 , women’s rights in Poland perished!

The politicians of the ruling party, Law and Justice , want to restore Medieval order, where women had no voting rights and had to submit to men.

The repressive ruling implemented amid record Covid- 19 numbers in Poland has forced women into the streets for mass protests. The Law and Justice government made their decision in this dangerous moment with premeditation in order to cover up their own disability to control the pandemic!

Public Healthcare in Poland has been dysfunctional for a few years now and is falling apart under their rule. To make it worse…the government wanted to provoke the demonstrations , so that in the end, they could blame protesting women for spreading the virus. This is a very cruel and irresponsible action , which makes it hard to believe that ANY democratic government would knowingly put their citizens in such danger for political gain.

In Poland millions of women and men have been protesting since, all over the country…not only in the urban centres like Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan or Wroclaw but also in the smaller rural communities. The movement is incredibly touching and powerful, and what is interesting about the whole phenomenon is, that ..there is no leaders! It is a very spontaneous will of ordinary people, extremely powerful women of all ages who are outraged and desperate to stop this attack on their basic human rights!

Last Friday a national march took place in Warsaw, where approximately 100 000 people showed up and totally covered the centre of the Polish capital.

However these protesters, who are mostly women have been violently attacked and physically assaulted by various far right and nationalistic organizations. A fascist organization called the National Radical Camp has publicly declared that it is forming and recruiting for “national brigades” to fight protesting women….

We condemn the violence against women!

Protesters have been arrested and met with excessive force by law enforcement authorities, who have used tear gas, pepper spray and physical aggression against both women and men.

This is unacceptable in any democracy and we, women of the world must support and defend each other. No woman, no matter where she lives should be left alone.

We stand in SOLIDARITY with the women of Poland and we are defending them! It is our need and moral duty ! Today we stand up for them- tomorrow, we might need their support! Our hearts are with you….

We call on our Canadian government and on Poland’s diplomats in Canada to send a message to Poland’s president Duda, to let him know, that Canadian women support the women in Poland in their struggle and that we demand that they are respected, treated with dignity, and have access to reproductive health and rights!

We believe that together, we can make change for better!

Thank you!

Joanna Ciapka-Sangster