Widespread outrage among women and others welcomed the October 22 ruling, which barred abortion due to fetal defects, ending one of the few legitimate reasons left for abortion in a strong Roman Catholic country with a deeply conservative government.
While the focus was mostly on abortion rights, the demonstrations soon became an expression of anger against the nationalist law and justice (PIS) government, its church allies and its traditional policies. On Tuesday, two protesters were stripped naked in front of the Presidential Palace.
The government’s publication department had initially said the court’s ruling would take effect by November 2, but it had not yet been published in its official gazette, meaning it had not yet come into force.
“According to the rules, the verdict of the Constitutional Tribunal must be issued in a timely manner,” government spokeswoman Pyotr Mல்லller said when asked about the delay at the press conference.
“However, we all need peace and discussion around this verdict, calming the public mood and discussions among experts.”
Although limited to “dangerous” defects, Biz’s ally President Andrzej Duda sought to defuse protests by proposing a bill to re-establish the right to abortion due to fetal abnormalities.
Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections on Wednesday.
“… they have no idea how to resolve the situation in Poland, they do not have a majority in parliament (in favor of the bill), they are afraid to answer questions,” Deputy Speaker of the Opposition Malcorsatta Kitawa-Blanska told reporters.
Pais, a Member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Rieszard Derlecki, rejected any suggestion that the government did not have a majority on the issue, saying the postponement was related to the corona virus outbreak.
The Federation of Women and Family Planning of Poland said on Tuesday that it has intensified efforts to perform abortions on women in recent days before the court ruling goes into effect.
It said it was aware of 61 abortions being performed in hospitals within two weeks of the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling, sending an annual total of more than 1,100 registered in 2019.