Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, explained: “Two months ago, the Polish government wanted to criminalise and imprison women who had an abortion and those who help them in any way.”
“But they did not anticipate that the level of resistance from Polish women and men would be so high. Hundreds of thousands of Poles took to the streets to defend women's rights. And across Europe – including in the European Parliament – protests were held in solidarity with the Poles,” Björk continued.
“The Polish government simply had to backtrack. That was a victory for all of us who see women as full citizens.
“Now, however, the Polish government has decided to continue its assault on women. The Polish Minister for Family, Labour and Social Affairs has declared that the country would withdraw from the Istanbul Convention – an important international legal instrument in the struggle against all gender-based violence.”

The Polish government's attempt to reduce women's rights does not stop at withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention. 
“In the new proposal, the government also restricts women's right to the morning-after pill and is preparing a campaign against women's right to control their own bodies,” Björk went on.
“Seemingly afraid of people protesting, the government proposes another unacceptable new bill to restrict freedom of demonstration.
“The attack on the democratic institutions and the attack on women's rights are linked. Democracy and basic human rights are being withdrawn, and in particular, women's basic human rights are being violated.
“This is not acceptable. The EU must take a stand and clearly show that all member states must ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention, just as they must do for the European Convention on Human Rights.
“Attacks on women's human rights and freedom of demonstration can never be accepted. The European Parliament and Council must take a clear stand against this,” Björk concluded.

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings  +33 3881 76723 / +32 483 03 55 75

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