AFT Denounces Polish Government’s Plans to Ban Completely All Abortions

Atheist Freethinkers press release makes very clear its disgust with the Polish government’s plans to ban all abortions:

AFT Denounces the Polish Government’s Plans to Ban Completely All Abortions

Montreal, 15th April 2016 — Atheist Freethinkers (AFT), an association which promotes secularism and supports the rights of atheists, denounces the draft legislation tabled by the Polish government in response to pressure from the Catholic Church, which would completely ban all abortions in that country. AFT expresses its solidarity with our atheist colleagues of the Foundation Kazimierz Łyszczyński, co-organizer of the Days of Atheism 2016 held in Warsaw at the beginning of April and which opposes this draconian measure and similarly opposes all religious interference in the affairs of state.

In particular, the organization AFT is in solidarity with Polish women whose rights are already curtailed by current legislation which allows for termination of pregnancy only in case of serious risk to the woman’s life and health, or irreversible pathology in the embryo, or pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. The new law would close even these three minimal exceptions and institute a total ban, thus completely flouting the reproductive rights of Polish women and increasing their suffering with a policy that responds only to the interests of the Church.

The rights and quality of life of all Poles, both men and women, are threatened by the servile attitude of their government towards the Catholic Church. Secularism—complete separation between religion and state—is necessary in order to protect the freedoms, including freedom of conscience, of all persons, and in particular to protect the reproductive rights of women.

Of course its the Catholic Church that, despite its own serious crimes, is the prime mover in this attempt to ban abortion in Poland. As Foundation Kazimierz Łyszczyński’s declaration points out,

In Poland, a complete ban on abortion, carried out under pressure from the Catholic Church, constitutes the most serious infringement of the rights of women since the interwar period. The Polish clergy, discredited by scandals, including pedophilia and extraordinary financial greed, seeks to impose its commands and prohibitions, not by way of the faith of its adherents, but rather by means of force. Perhaps the conscience of Polish bishops can withstand anything: ranging from the pedophilia of priests hidden in the Church’s ranks, all the way to the imposition of draft legislation whose result would be “femicide.” But it is not the bishops who sit in Parliament. Rather, it is docile politicians subservient to the Church who will be responsible for the tragedies of women. Because the cost of the alliance between government and altar is already paid by women with their lives and their health—but this barbaric legislation will dramatically increase that cost. The plan to institute a total ban on abortion has nothing to do with protecting life. On the contrary, it is a death sentence for any woman whose pregnancy threatens her life. She will be forced to carry the pregnancy to term even if the fœtus is severely damaged, only to witness, helplessly, the death agony of the newborn infant. She will be forced to give birth to a child born of rape. These exceptions in the current legislation—hypocritically called a “compromise”—allow for legal abortion in theory. However, as practice has shown, when a women loses her right to choose, even the right to legal abortion ceases to be applied and becomes a legal fiction.

The Guardian reports that “some 90% of Poles identify as Catholic”; its time to stop identifying as Catholic and stop supporting one of the most corrupt institutions in the world.

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[Photo of Joseph Watts]

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