Warsaw, Poland, Sep 30, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Magdalena Korzekwa-Kaliszuk, director of campaigns for CitizenGo in Poland, has pointed to last week's progress of a bill in the Polish parliament banning abortion as a “triple victory,” saying, “our generation can stop abortion.”
On Sept. 23, with a 267-154 vote in favor, Polish lawmakers sent a bill that seeks the total ban of abortion in the country to committee for further consideration. Abortion is currently allowed in the case of rape or incest, grave risk to the health of the mother, and serious deformities in the baby in the womb. At most, 2,000 legal abortions are procured annually in Poland, though it is estimated that there may be 10,000 performed illegally, according to the BBC.
The legislative proposal will be debated for an unlimited time until a final draft is written, which will finally be submitted to a vote by all members of parliament, which is ruled by the Law and Justice Party. It came to parliament after a citizens' group, Stop Abortion, delivered a petition with 450,000 signatures calling for a complete ban on abortion. The bill would criminalize the performance of abortion by physicians.
Speaking to Actuall news Sept. 28, Korzekwa-Kaliszuk explained that “this is the first time that a citizen initiative focused on stopping abortion … which was introduced with almost a half a million citizen signatures, has been passed by parliament thanks to 267 votes in favor, 11 abstentions, and 154 against and now will be debated in the Justice and Human Rights Committee.”
“The second victory came with the defeat of another bill voted on last Friday, introduced by feminists who were calling for abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks and which was defeated by the majority in the chamber,” she said.
A third victory she noted “has to do with another bill which was also sent to the committee and which limits abortion on the single grounds of serious risk to the mother's health.” She said that “this victory is proof that good people cannot just defend these values when they are attacked, but also take the initiative and change the world.”
Korzekwa-Kaliszuk expressed her confidence that Poland's case “can spread to other countries in the European Union so they can stop abortion.” Currently, the only European states that ban abortion entirely are Malta and Vatican City. “It must serve as an argument for those pro-lifers who are under a lot of pressure and think that change is not possible, because the protection of life from conception is possible, and it's happening in Poland now,” she pointed out. While she expressed caution because “we have to hope that the law will finally be changed,” the Polish pro-life leader emphasized that “this victory means that Poland has an unique opportunity to end the legacy of communism, when abortion was available without a problem for Poles.”
“In 1993 the first great change was wrought and it significantly limited the number of legal abortions in the country, but not all could be prevented. In recent years, abortions performed in Poland were about 1,000 a year and most of them, almost 90 percent, were for fetal deformities.” Korzekwa-Kaliszuk added that “all pro-life Poles are aware the fact that the battle is not over and that the most important votes will take place in the coming months.”
There are many dangers, she warned, including that both the bill limiting grounds and the one totally banning abortion “can be held up for months in the parliament committee, and can be amended or even voted down.” The Polish parliament, she said “is full of pro-life people,” but there are also politicians “who perhaps have doubts, are scared and under a lot of political pressure.”
“We must support Poland, Polish MPs and Polish citizens, and their pro-life initiatives. That's what we need now!” she encouraged. Korzekwa-Kaliszuk said that “many European politicians may be alarmed and try to stop this good opportunity for Poland” but that Poland, while “a full member of the European Union, is an independent country and depends on its citizens, who want to protect the lives of the unborn.”
“I'm also sure that among EU politicians there are people who support this incredible opportunity for Poland,” she said. The pro-life leader said that “good brings about more good, and so we're prepared to start this change not only in Poland, but also in Europe.”