Friday, September 2, 2011

Polish bill banning all abortion narrowly defeated

Whilst attending the MaterCare conference in Rome we had news of a vote which took place in the Polish Parliament  on August 31st.

I blogged recently on this Polish bill which proposed the banning all abortions, which was the result of a grassroots campaign to bring a total abortion ban before the Parliament. 

The sponsors of the initiative needed to collect 100,000 signatures within three months.  They got 600,000 signatures in two weeks and the proposal was given to a committee to make a recommendation. The committee rejected the proposal but nevertheless  it was subsequently sent for a full parliamentary debate and for a vote.  

The Parliament vote took place on August 31st and sadly the committee also voted against the proposal. The bill was rejected by the narrowest of margins 191-186 vote, with five abstentions and seventy-eight members of Parliament were absent.

The Following statement was sent from the conference to the organisers of the initiative and to the Polish Parliament

Matercare International Statement on the Polish Parliament’s Vote on the Protection of Human Life from Conception. Sept 1. 2011

Based on the biologically and medically incontrovertible fact that human life begins at the moment of fertilization, as well as the principles of human life and dignity espoused and promulgated by the Catholic Church, we, the members of MaterCare International, a world –wide organization of obstetricians and gynecologists and other medical professionals, which acts as the obstetrical arm of the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), announce our gratitude to the Polish people who have supported the civic initiative for a legislative amendment to prohibit all abortion, by very significant legislation recognizing those principles, and express our disappointment in the Parliament of Poland having voted to deny support, though by the slim margin 0f 186 in favor to 191 against

The new legislation consisting of four short articles that would have ensured legal protection of all human life in Poland from conception (Fertilization) onward, without exception, was based on the incontrovertible fact that life begins at that moment, and, like each of our own individual lives, is deserving of protection and the right to live. For many years, the practice of abortion has had a gravely negative impact on society and on women, causing them physical and emotional harm, and has lowered respect for human life and our medical profession.

The legislation would have provided untold benefits for Poland and its future, and would likely have paved the way for similar legislative reform – which is neutral regarding creed, color or physical health – in other European countries. The importance of voting for the protection of future generations of Poles cannot be understated.

As professional devoted to the dignity of motherhood, mothers and their children, we are delighted at the 186 votes in favor of the attempted legislative reform, and sincerely thank the Polish people and parliamentarians for their effort to restore respect for human life in its vulnerable state