Poland protests – level 3

20-06-2023 07:00

Abortion rights supporters in Poland held marches in several cities following the death of a pregnant woman, Dorota, whose family believes she could have survived if she had been offered a termination.

Poland’s anti-abortion laws are some of the strictest in Europe, and they have sparked widespread protests in recent years. The death of Dorota has further fueled anti-government sentiment among liberal Poles ahead of upcoming elections. Activists argue that the restrictions on abortion have led to the deaths of several pregnant women. Dorota died of septic shock after her water broke in the 20th week of pregnancy, and her husband claims they weren’t informed about the option to induce a miscarriage.

Another woman, Izabela, also died from septic shock in the 22nd week of pregnancy. Critics argue that doctors have become more hesitant to perform terminations since the constitutional court ruling. A majority of Poles believe that the strict abortion rules pose a potential threat to women’s life and health.

Difficult words: termination (ending a pregnancy), sentiment (general feeling or opinion), septic shock (a life-threatening condition when an infection in the body causes extremely low blood pressure and organ failure).

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What impact has the Polish government's strict abortion laws had on pregnant women in terms of their life and health?


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