A lot of women and girls in this country have felt that they don’t have any power, that they are not equal, that they don’t have the right to an opinion. This is a chance for us to be seen, and to be heard.
My latest article, for The Guardian, is about Polish women going on strike against a barbaric proposed abortion ban being considered by the Polish Parliament. You can read it here.
Under the plans, a woman could be prosecuted simply for having a miscarriage, and doctors could be put off conducting proper pre-natal care or even routine procedures on pregnant women or even women more generally, for fear of being thrown in prison for unwittingly facilitating a termination.
The #CzarnyProtest appears to be mobilising support not just against the proposed ban, but away from the status quo and towards liberalisation.
It isn’t simply “pro-abortion” – the far right in PL and elsewhere are waging a wider war on women that is putting their lives in danger. The Catholic church needs to think very hard about this – if women start dying, support can start to collapse very quickly, like in Ireland or Quebec.
Whether it is the war on women, the legitimisation of race hate, or the erosion of checks and balances on the exercise of power, extreme ideas are increasingly being legitimised across the developed world. Support for Polish women is also a form of resistance to an erosion of the pillars of our precious liberal democracies.