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European Parliament to debate women's rights in Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 04.10.2016 08:30
The European Parliament has rejected a motion from the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group, which includes Polish Law and Justice MEPs, to withdraw a debate on women's rights in Poland from Wednesday’s agenda.
European Parliament. Source: Wikimedia CommonsEuropean Parliament. Source: Wikimedia Commons

In mid-September, Polish MPs decided that a draft citizens' bill to introduce a complete ban on abortion – even in cases of rape and incest – would be discussed further in parliament.

This prompted the Socialists and Democrats group to motion for women's rights in Poland to be discussed by the European Parliament.

Before Monday's vote on the European Parliament's agenda, the head of the Law and Justice European Parliament delegation, Ryszard Legutko, argued that the EU does not have competence in matters of abortion, therefore involving European institutions in this matter would be "extralegal".

"Intervening in these issues is inadmissible on the grounds of Art. 5, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Treaty on European Union, where we read that ‘competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States’.

"Well, there are no regulations in the treaties giving the EU competence in matters of abortion," said Legutko.

Swedish MEP Malin Björk, meanwhile, said that the European Parliament has a right to discuss the issue. "If we can discuss human rights, we can discuss women’s rights," she said.

The majority of MEPs shared her view and the debate will take place on Wednesday evening.

Last week, Law and Justice criticized the European Parliament's decision to debate the issue; some Polish opposition Civic Platform MEPs also spoke out against the decision.

Polish women took to the streets on Monday to protest against a bid to totally ban abortion in this country.

Poland’s current law, passed in 1993, bans terminations unless there was rape or incest, the pregnancy poses a health risk to the mother or the foetus is severely deformed. (mol/pk)

Source: PAP/IAR

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