On Monday October 3, tens of thousands of Polish citizens, mainly women, participated in “Black Monday.” Masses marched into the capital Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest against a bill, which includes a five years prison sentence maximum for both a woman who had an abortion, and the doctor who performed the procedure. Poland’s abortion laws are already restrictive, and is only legal for cases of rape, incest, a danger to the mother’s life, or if the fetus is malformed.
And the response? A quick decision was made to reject the bill in order to avoid further backlash. Yet despite this, the Law and Justice (PiS) party said that they will continue to work to further tighten the already strict abortion laws. Although this “Black Monday” protest proved to have been successful, the current conservative government will, continue to further limit women’s rights, forcing more protests. It seems like increased opposition is the only solution to suppress similar regulations. Aged, right-wing men are attempting to strip away women’s rights little by little not just in Poland but in multiple countries across the world. I believe that the “War on Women,” which are political efforts to restrict women’s rights, namely reproductive rights, is a global phenomenon. Women’s reproductive rights are not progressing but regressing in some first-world nations — take ours for instance. Not only are more regulations being proposed by right-wing politicians regarding abortion and other reproductive rights, but we even have a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who desires to prohibit virtually every abortion if he stepped into office.
Pro-choice citizens of these oppressive governments are faced with a dilemma: either face them head-on with strong disapproval or sit back and watch as conservative politicians cover more ground with each regulation.
For the time being, Poland was able to evade the proposed law.
But what’s in store for the future of women’s reproductive rights?