Poland’s Parliament voted 199 to 183 to drop a measure that would have liberalized the severely restrictive abortion laws in a country that currently has a very powerful Catholic hierarchy. According to Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, the measure would legalized abortions up to 12 weeks gestation and called for sex education to be taught as a separate subject in junior high schools.
Currently, abortion is illegal in Poland except in cases of rape, incest, when the fetus is deformed, or when the woman’s life is in danger; doctors face up to three years in jail for performing illegal abortions. Women’s groups assert that the restrictive laws are contributing to as many as 200,000 illegal abortions in the country annually.
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