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Conscience Magazine

The Polish Black Protest: Poland pushing back against global antichoice trends

April 19, 2017

Katarzyna Kacpura and Anka Grzywacz’s article perfectly underlined the crucial role played by grassroots mobilization in creating support for a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from women’s rights and access to healthcare services to the provision of comprehensive sex education, in countering further restrictions on reproductive rights in Poland.

As it becomes evident that opposition to sexual and reproductive health and rights is not a phenomenon restricted to a few specific national contexts, the example set by, and the success achieved through, the Polish Black Protest movement is crucial.

The Trump administration has re-introduced and expanded the “global gag rule;” Russia is solidifying a coalition of states in favor of “traditional values” at the UN level; and there are constant attempts to (further) restrict legal provisions for reproductive health and rights at the national level across all regions. Opposing these individual policy initiatives, however, is simply not enough.

Prochoice advocates and activists worldwide must find ways to reach wider constituencies and mobilize them in support of their rights in the long term, as well as in response to immediate threats. The Polish Black Protest movement will hopefully continue to provide positive examples in this respect.

Policy and Advocacy Consultant
Brussels, Belgium