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WATCH: Polish Women, in Black, Protest Proposed Abortion Laws

At the beginning of October, protestors in Poland, dressed in black, successfully prevented that nation’s government from turning already-restrictive abortion laws into a ban. Earlier this week, protestors took on the latest proposal from this strongly Catholic country: a restriction on abortion even in cases where the fetus would not survive, or is severely deformed. The idea is to allow the fetus to make its way into the world (that is, to compel the woman carrying that fetus to give birth) so that there would be time for the baby to be baptized and then buried.

Views on abortion differ, to state the abundantly obvious, and differ among good people, to state the somewhat more controversial. While I am pro-choice, I don’t think the opposing political view is entirely rooted in misogyny, and I certainly respect any woman taking her own personal or religious views into account when facing a challenging pregnancy. But there’s something particularly gruesome, I think, about forcing a woman to have a stillbirth. A woman whose own religious principals very well might not dictate that tremendous sacrifice.

Never mind what I think, though. The women of Poland have made their voices heard.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy edits the Sisterhood. Her book, The Perils of “Privilege”, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017.

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