The protest was bigger than anyone expected. People were astonished. Warsaw was swarming with women in black. It was amazing to feel the energy and the anger, the emotional intensity was incredible.


My latest report for The Guardian documents a temporary – and partial – victory for pro-choice campaigners in Poland, after senior politicians from the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) backed away from it and a parliamentary committee urged MPs to vote it down.  The article can be read here.

The justice and human rights committee, which reviews proposed legislation, recommended that parliament reject the bill following a wave of protests earlier in the week that appeared to catch the government off guard.

In a humiliating climbdown, PiS members who had referred the legislation to the committee less than two weeks ago threw it out. Among the PiS committee members to vote to reject the bill was Krystyna Pawłowicz, who before Monday’s protest had denounced opponents of the abortion ban as “fans of killing babies” who should be ashamed of themselves.