Poland to Implement Near-Total Ban on Abortion

A protester with the sign of women’s rights campaign during nationwide protests on Oct. 26 in Warsaw against court ruling that tightened Poland’s restrictive abortion law. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW (AFP) — A controversial Polish court ruling that imposes a near-total ban on abortion will come into force on Wednesday, the government said, in an announcement expected to spark major protests.

“The ruling will be published today in the Journal of Laws,” the government information center said on Twitter.

Poland was rocked by massive demonstrations when the Constitutional Court ruling was first issued in October.

The ruling said that abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities were “incompatible” with the constitution.

It means that all abortions in Poland will now be banned except in cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s life or health are considered to be at risk.

The ruling is in line with the policies of the governing right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS).

Women’s Strike, the organization behind the demonstrations against the ruling, called for a protest later on Wednesday outside the Constitutional Court in Warsaw.

Poland, a predominantly Catholic country, already has one of Europe’s most restrictive laws on abortion.

There are fewer than 2,000 legal abortions every year and women’s groups estimate that an additional 200,000 women abort either illegally or abroad.

© Agence France-Presse

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