WARSAW, Poland – Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Thursday that women themselves should have the right to have an abortion in the case of a congenitally damaged fetus, apparently breaking the ranks with a guaranteed The prime minister pushed for a ban that led to massive street protests.
Duda said in an interview with RMF FM radio: “There cannot be a law requiring this kind of hero from a woman.
He spoke after seven consecutive days of mass protests across Poland following a constitutional court ruling declaring termination of pregnancy due to birth defects of the fetus was unconstitutional. The ruling prohibits almost all abortions in a country that already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.
That ruling sparked massive nationwide protests, with young people heeding the call of women’s rights activists to take to the streets to protect their freedoms.
Deep divisions that had been caused for a long time in Poland are now raging in the streets.
On Thursday night, men with a far-right group, All-Polish Youth, attacked women participating in overnight protests in several cities, including Wroclaw, Poznan and Bialystok.
Their actions came after Poland’s most powerful politician, ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, called on his supporters to take to the streets to protect churches after women interrupted the entrance mass. Last Sunday and the churches were sprayed.
Many people interpret Kaczynski’s call to allow violence to the protesters.
Duda’s comments on Thursday were in stark contrast to his initial reaction last week, when he welcomed the ruling and emphasized his opposition to the abortion even if the fetus was damaged. recoverable.
He also showed differences of opinion with Kaczynski on security, saying that the police should have sole responsibility in protecting the streets.