: European Parliament will discuss Polish abortion ban law

15:22 Oct. 5, 2016

European Parliament will discuss Polish abortion ban law

Polish women shout slogans while raising a hanger, the symbol of illegal abortion. October 3, 2016, Warsaw, Poland (AP Photo)

Controversial bill raised protests throughout Poland and abroad

The European Parliament will talk about the situation with women's rights in Poland. The head of Law and Justice European Parliament delegation, Ryszard Legutko, argued that the EU does not have competence in matters of abortion. Swedish MEP Malin Björk, meanwhile, said that the European Parliament has a right to discuss the issue. "If we can discuss human rights, we can discuss women's rights," she said.

Read more Black protest aftermath: tensions grow, first clashes with police (video)

The majority of MEPs shared her view and the debate will take place on Wednesday evening.

Debates sparked in Poland over a proposal to completely ban abortions by will. They are already considered illegal in Poland, but it is allowed to terminate the pregnancy if a woman was raped, a fetus is unviable or a woman's life is at risk. 

Read more Black Monday in Poland

On Monday thousands of women went on a so-called Black protest to oppose a total ban on abortions. 

The new proposal, now being examined by a parliamentary commission, would make all abortions illegal, even in cases of rape or when the woman's life is at risk, with prison terms of up to five years for women seeking abortions and doctors who perform them.

Read more Battle over abortion law continues in Poland

The proposal 'for' came from an anti-abortion citizens' initiative that gathered 450,000 signatures in the nation of 38 million, and is supported by the church. Law and Justice, which has a majority in parliament, includes supporters of the proposal but it's not clear if there are enough to push it through.

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