Polish women vow to step up pressure over abortion restrictions (The Guardian)

Photograph: Iga Lubczańska via Creative Commons

Leaders of a growing women’s rights movement in Poland have vowed to keep up the pressure on the country’s ruling rightwing government with ongoing protests against proposed restrictions on abortion.

Thousands of women demonstrated in the streets of Warsaw, Gdańsk, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań and other cities and towns across the country on Sunday and Monday.

Demonstrators chanted “We are not folding up our umbrellas” in a reference to the wave of protests earlier this month when tens of thousands of Poles gathered in grisly weather to challenge a proposed blanket ban on abortion, forcing Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) to throw out the proposals.

Despite the success of the protest on 3 October, campaigners stress that women in Poland remain under threat from a government they describe as beholden to hardline conservative activists and elements of Poland’s powerful Catholic church.

“We have three main causes: no to violence and hatred towards women; no to the church in politics; no to politics in education,” said Marta Lempart, who has been coordinating the nationwide protests from the south-western city of Wrocław.

My report for the Guardian can be found here.

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