Open letter by FEMM Members on attacks on women’s rights in Poland

Open letter by FEMM Members on attacks on women’s rights in Poland

The European Parliament Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) Members express their support for and solidarity with Polish women and emphasize their deep concerns at the repeated government attacks on women’s rights and the relentless attempts to roll back the reproductive rights of women in Poland.

In their open letter, Members refer to the recent decision of the Constitutional Court, handed down on 22 October 2020, which declared the 1993 law permitting abortion in cases of severe foetal disabilities as unconstitutional.

Members strongly condemn the Court’s ruling that puts women’s health and lives at risk and infringes its international human rights obligations as stated by the European Court of Human Rights.

The full letter :

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality The Chair

Open letter to Polish Women

We, the Members of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality at the European Parliament are deeply concerned by the repeated government attacks on women’s rights and the relentless attempts to roll back the reproductive rights of women in Poland.

This culminated in the recent decision of the Constitutional Court, aiming to further limiting the already restricted grounds on which women can lawfully access abortion in Poland. This will lead to even further increase the proportion of abortions that take place in secret and unsafe conditions, revealing the dark realities of abortion in Poland today. We strongly condemn the Court’s ruling that puts women’s health and lives at risk and is violating its international human rights obligations as stated by the European Court of Human Rights.

In a determined and energetic way, Polish women fought back, as they did on previous occasions, which mobilised the largest protests the country has witnessed since the 1989 collapse of communism. This is a massive demonstration of the empowerment of Polish women despite the conditions they find themselves in after legal and political changes have undermined the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Poland.

With pride, we look at your courageous fight for your rights and we want to express, as already on previous occasions, our full support of and solidarity with Polish women.

We strongly denounce the violence and attacks that have been committed against peaceful demonstrators during protests.

You, Polish women and fellow protesters, have achieved the suspension of the implementation of the Court ruling. This is a step in the right direction but not the end of the battle.

The upcoming discussions will show how seriously women’s reproductive health and rights are taken. You can be assured that we, Members of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality will monitor closely further developments and you can be assured that we will, with all the means that we have at our disposal, fully support the fight for your health and rights.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Regner

Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

On behalf of the Members of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

Photo Credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Poland

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