Poland’s population drive puts women on red alert over reproductive rights

While an outright ban was rejected by lawmakers, Polish women fear the state could control their access to abortion in other insidious ways, reports Amanda Coakley

Thursday 02 December 2021 18:57
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<p>Activist leader Marta Lempart (left) and lawmaker Monika Falej (centre) protest against the tightening of the abortion law</p>

Activist leader Marta Lempart (left) and lawmaker Monika Falej (centre) protest against the tightening of the abortion law

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, or PiS, believes it is on a mission to save the soul of the central European nation.

Sparked by the country’s dwindling population and fuelled by far-right nationalism, Poland’s leaders believe only a return to so-called “traditional family values” will cure their various ills.

One of their first attempts to boost the birth rate was the Family 500+ programme, launched in 2016, which gives families 500 Polish zloty (£90) a month for every child under the age of 18. Despite some early success, the initiative hasn’t yielded the baby boom the government was expecting.

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