Protestors Stand in Solidarity Against Abortion Restrictions in Northern Ireland and Poland
Women in the US aren’t the only ones being denied access to abortion. There are countries in Europe such as Northern Ireland and Poland, where it is still illegal (and punishable) to have an abortion. A 21-year-old in Northern Ireland was given a three month prison sentence (suspended for one year) after she plead guilty for inducing a miscarriage with drugs bought on the internet. Another woman (in Northern Ireland) is currently awaiting trial for helping her daughter buy abortion inducing pills.
Protestors recently gathered outside of London’s West End Central Police station to hand themselves in for committing a crime. Their offense? Having an abortion. The protestors were present to show solidarity for those women in Northern Ireland as well as Poland who are considered criminals for having an abortion.
In Poland, abortion is only legal if the woman was raped, in cases of incest, if the fetus is malformed, or if the woman’s life is at risk. Recently, however, a citizens’ petition has presented itself which hopes to eliminate abortion altogether. The petition has been supported by Poland’s prime minister, the former prime minister and the Polish Roman Catholic bishops’ conference.
Protestors showed up to the Polish embassy shouting “my body, my choice” with coat hangers in hand. They then left the hangers hanging outside of the building. According to Barbara Nowacka, the leader of Poland’s United Left political alliance, 80,000-100,000 Polish women self-abort, travel abroad for the procedure, or undergo backstreet abortions.
Even though these abortion-restricting countries aren’t physically far from one another, the implications can be life changing depending on which one you were born in. The fight against abortion bans is a fight for human rights.
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