A fresh wave of protests held in Poland over controversial abortion law

The recent uprising marks 100 days of protests since Poland's constitutional tribunal court first handed down its contentious ruling to ban abortion. 

The protesters trekked through the Polish capital's cold streets on Friday night, after the government published the law on Wednesday. The government's move comes after it gestured to the protesters that it was open to discussion about the law. 

Controversial abortion law aims to make abortion illegal 

The Constitutional Court's ruling is the first alteration of Polish abortion law since 1993. The ruling came after a long-time effort of the country's right-wing government to reduce access to abortions.

According to the court ruling, abortions may only be authorized in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger. The new ruling restricts the termination of pregnancies with fetal deformities.

Abortions due to fetal deformities made up approximately 98% of all legal abortions carried out in Poland in 2019, according to data from the Polish Ministry of Health.

The new abortion restrictions are seen by critics as the latest assault on social freedoms by the right-wing government that openly criticizes actions it views as western, upholds laws dangerous to gay people, and destroyed protections for the LGBTQ community".

A human rights group led the protest against the abortion ban 

A human rights group known as Women's Strike led the march against the new law. 

The government's action on Wednesday provoked demonstrators in the capital Warsaw, and other cities including Krakow, Bydgoszcz, Opole, Szczecin, Łódź, and Wrocław to disobey a pandemic-related ban on meetings of more than five people 

The protester's galvanized by Women's Strike leader Marta Lempart, took shortcuts around backstreets to avoid police blockades, but a  large police presence hindered the crowd from getting close to the residence of the prime minister. 

The protesters who marched in central Warsaw carried placards declaring "Abortion without borders," "Abortion is my right" or "You will not burn these witches."

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