Polish President Andrzej Duda has spoken out against a referendum on abortion as different stakeholders debate about finding a compromise to over the country’s abortion debate following the Polish Constitutional Court’s decision to ban eugenic abortion. Duda noted that he had put forward a project in parliament which permits carrying out abortions in cases where a fetus has fatal flaws that would lead to its death shortly after death. “I put forward my project because I listened to the opinions of women. These were both mature women, as well as very young girls. There were many voices full of concern — voices on the streets, in calm speeches, as well as those which reached me through private means, such as letters,” he said. Twitter/Przemysław Wenerski Warsaw’s steet: pro-life poster sprayed with the bolt, the symbol of pro-abortion “Women’s strike”.
The president believes that his project is a specific compromise. He explained that as president, his role is to find solutions which protect the country’s important values. He underlined that two most important values are the health and lives of women and the health and lives of children. Duda also referred to whether he would support a referendum on abortion in Poland. “I see no other solution than to publish the Constitutional Court’s verdict. I’m not personally convinced that a referendum should be held in this case. This is the issue of life and death, a very serious matter. I don’t believe that a referendum should be conducted. No matter what someone says or thinks – this is life or death. Abortion means killing a child,” he declared. On Oct. 22, the Constitutional Tribunal released a decree concerning the anti-abortion bill from 1993. So far, the tribunal’s decree on eugenic abortion has not been published and therefore, has not been enacted as a law, but the verdict from the court sparked widespread protests in the country. According to reports, the president’s project is not finding support among the majority of PiS MPs. Judicial reforms Duda also commented on the judicial reforms announced recently by Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński. The president confirmed the reforms are moving forward, emphasizing that they are an internal matter of Poland and judges must respect the constitution and the equality of citizens. He pointed out that the judiciary as a corporation is basically outside of the state currently. He stated that changes must be introduced, which will lead to the healing of the whole judicial system in Poland.