History and rights
In 1990, Belgium voted to partially depenalize the right to an abortion before 12 weeks if the woman is in a “situation of destress”.
It was the doctor Willy Peers, the pioneer of childbirth without pain, who fought for access to contraception and abortion. This gynecologist symbolizes the struggle for the right to abortion – he was arrested based on an anonymous tip for having carried out an abortion in 1973, an act prohibited under Belgian law from 1867.
What became known as the “Peers affair”, gave rise to a vast mobilization of the feminist movement and working women (FN workers), while some doctors went into hiding and activists opened centers offering abortions.
Belgium opted then to close its eyes rather than confront this issue, which will lead to King Baudouin deciding to relinquish power for 24h in order to justify his refusal to sanction the law, allowing for time to sign the law, the so-called “law of compromise”.
Conservative forces have been incessant and active for a long time, however their steadfast resistance to the right to abortion that gives them ground.
The Flemish Christian-Democratic leaning party has put forward a well-advanced proposal to give a fetus rights. This bill is dangerous because it results in making women blame themselves and weakens free choice and consent.
By removing abortion from the Penal Code, the legislature would defend the ability of women to make appropriate choices for themselves. Nonetheless, access to abortion remains a fraught freedom to this day as it is up to the doctor to decide on the state of distress, which not only goes against the law but also our vision of medicine.
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Since 2010, the law authorizes abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy and 22 weeks of pregnancy in case of malformation of the fetus.
In December 2013, a bill was introduced to prohibit abortion, except in the case of rape or danger to the physical or mental health of the mother, by the government of Mariano Rajoy. But thanks to the great mobilization of Spanish women, supported in many other countries, the bill is withdrawn on September 23, 2014.
Unfortunately, on 9 September 2015, the Senate approved a reform of the law on abortion prohibiting minors from abortion without parental consent, a relaxed version of a reform strongly opposed by the opposition. The Spanish upper house has approved the reform, which is the last formal step before its entry into force.
Abortion in Poland, a country with a strong Catholic tradition, has been allowed since 1993 and the fall of the communist regime only in three circumstances: pregnancy resulting from an illegal act (abortion must be authorized by a judge until the Twelfth week of pregnancy), risk to life or health of the pregnant woman, severe malformation of the fetus. As many physicians are opposed to it, it is very difficult to assert their right to abortion, and the number of interruptions of pregnancy practiced each year within the legal framework is limited to a few hundred.
The organization Federa, which advocates the right to abortion, estimates that between 80,000 and 100,000 Polish women choose to end their pregnancies every year through clandestine abortions or in the neighboring countries that allow it.
In 1994 and 1996, the center-left parliament voted twice to liberalize abortion. However, the President of the Republic Lech Wałęsa vetoed it in 1994, and the text was rejected by the Constitutional Court in 1996. When a left-wing majority in 2001 took over parliament, the new President of the Council Leszek Miller chose not to Not crumple the Catholic Church.
According to a bill introduced on September 23, 2016, any woman who aborts or aborts people would face a five-year prison sentence. The abortion was allowed only in the event of a threat to the life of the mother is in danger, which would make Poland the most restrictive country with Cyprus, which prohibits it in the texts, and Malta, where abortion is Totally forbidden.
This proposal for a citizens’ initiative submitted by the Stop Abortion Committee is met with a strong popular mobilization. On October 3, 100,000 “striking women” gathered across the country, dressed in black, to demand the abandonment of this project. Jarosław Kaczyński, chairman of the majority party, Law and Justice (PiS).