As pro-life legislation moves forward in Poland, the nation’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference applauded the measure, stressing that every human person has the right to life.
On Monday, a civic draft law called “Halt Abortion” received committee approval from the parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights, by a vote of 16-9. This measure, if passed, would prohibit the practice of eugenic abortions — those chosen due to a congenital disorder or genetic deformity in the unborn child.
“Every conceived child has the right to birth and to life, regardless of innate diseases and genetic defects. The role of the state is to provide protection for every citizen, also in its first stage of life,” said Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Pozan, president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
“The right to life is a fundamental human right, there is no doubt in this matter,” Archbishop Gadecki continued in a recent statement.
He voiced gratitude for the committee’s favorable ruling on the draft law, saying, “I would like to thank the parliamentarian Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which, giving a positive recommendation to the civic draft law ‘Halt Abortion’ signed by over 830,000 Poles, confirmed this right.”
Abortion in Poland is currently legal only in cases of rape, incest, if the mother’s life or health is threatened, or if the baby has received a prenatal diagnosis of a disorder or deformity.
According to Reuters, the majority of abortions performed within Poland are due to a prenatal diagnosis of a disability or disorder in the unborn baby. In 2016, 1,042 of the nation’s 1,100 legal abortions were reportedly performed for this reason.
During parliamentary discussion on the “Halt Abortion” bill, MPs quotes article 38 of the country’s Constitution, which states: “The Republic of Poland guarantees to everyone the legal protection of life.”
The “Halt Abortion” bill was introduced by the Law and Justice party (PiS), which has been in power since 2015. The party has sponsored multiple pro-life measures over the years, and has cut off public funding for in-vitro fertilization. They also enacted restrictions on the morning-after pill, which now requires a prescription.
Archbishop Gadecki thanked “many nuns and priests as well as lay people in Poland” for their prayers on the legislation. He said the Church must be “the voice of those who do not yet have a voice.”
“Legal protection of human life is not a question of religion or worldview, but above all a question of science, which clearly shows that human life begins at the moment of conception,” Gadecki said.
“Modern biology, especially genetics, leaves no doubt as to the humanity of the human embryo and its distinctiveness from the moment its genome was conceived.”
The “Halt Abortion” bill will now move forward to the Committee of Social Politics and Family on March 21, and from there will go on to Parliament.