WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s lawmakers on Wednesday debated two proposals to change the country’s strict abortion law — one liberalizing it, and the other toughening the rules.
The draft laws were proposed by civic groups campaigning to change the current law, which outlaws abortions in all but the most exceptional cases and only up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
One proposal, backed by the political opposition, wants no restrictions on abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and easy access to contraception. The other wants to ban abortions of sick fetuses, a view shared by Poland’s ruling party and by President Andrzej Duda.
Beata Mazurek, spokeswoman for the ruling party, said she believes the majority of its lawmakers would be against the liberalization. The ruling party has a slight majority in parliament allowing it to block legislation it does not like.
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The lawmakers can either reject the proposals or forward them on to a special parliamentary commission for fine tuning.
In 2016, a nationwide protest organized by women made the government back out from plans to ban abortion.