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Progressive Catholic Organizations from Around the World Urge Polish Parliament to Ensure Abortion Remains Legal

August 1, 2011

WARSAW- Today progressive Catholic organizations from around the world sent a letter to the Polish Parliament urging them to ensure that abortion remains available to women in Poland. The letter raised concerns about the implications that proposed new restrictions would have for the health of Polish women. The message also stressed the widespread Catholic support for a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare services, including abortion, on the basis of social justice and respect for a woman’s conscience.

A bill is due to be debated in September which, if passed, would outlaw all abortion, even in cases where a woman’s health is in danger. Numerous studies have shown that outlawing abortion does not end abortion, but instead only endangers women’s lives—especially the lives of poor women. The letter explicitly took a stand against the criminalization of abortion under all circumstances, demanding that the Polish parliament reject efforts to further restrict abortion access for women who need it.

Quoting from the letter, Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said, “As Catholics, we cannot in good conscience turn our backs on women who make the difficult choice to terminate their pregnancies, nor can we ignore the suffering caused by policies which make it difficult for women to do so safely. Church teachings, tradition and core Catholic tenets leave room for supporting a more liberal position on abortion than an absolute one.” Catholics for Choice is the organization that collected the signatures from organizations representing Catholics in eleven countries across the Americas and in Europe.

Anka Grzywacz, who lives in Poland and represents Catholics for Choice Europe, stated, “An absolute ban would likely have a devastating impact on Polish women and society. Catholics can and do, in good conscience, support access to abortion. I urge members of the Sejm to reject proposals that further restrict our access to the full range of reproductive health options that we need and deserve.”

View the letter in EnglishSpanish or Polish.