7 April 2016 

Protest the threatened ban on abortion

1) Warsaw: demonstration in front of Polish Parliament, Warsaw, 9 April, 2pm
Called by a new non-governmental coalition “Odzyskać Wybór” (Reclaiming Choice), launched a few days ago with the Federation for Women and Family Planning and many other women’s organizations as core initiators. See
Facebook for details in Polish (English below)
Send a photo by 8 April of yourself with a coat hanger and holding a sign saying “Solidarity with Polish women” – with the name of your organisation or you as an individual.
SEND TO: or post directly to ASTRA’s Facebook events page here: 
Use the hashtag #ODZYSKACWYBOR = “Reclaiming choice”
Please follow ASTRA’s
website and Facebook (Pol) for regular updates.

3) London: protest outside the Polish Embassy, 47 Portland Place, W1, 2pm, Facebook (Eng)

ASTRA STATEMENT: We are strongly against the proposed legislation that will tighten the already strict anti-abortion regulations in Poland. The introduction of this law, which is supported by prime minister Beata Szydło, Law and Justice party leader Jarosław Kaczyński and the Polish Episcopate, will mean hell for Polish women: for cancer-patients who will not be able to be treated because of their pregnancy; for rape victims who will be forced to give birth to their rapist’s child; for women after miscarriages, who will be interrogated if their circumstances are deemed suspicious; for women who will not be able to undergo prenatal testing as it will be considered “unnecessary”; finally, it will be a nightmare for their relatives and friends wanting to support them during their problematic pregnancies. We are strongly opposing the proposed changes of the so-called "abortion compromise" law of 1993, which is still one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.inally, it will be a nightmare for their relatives and friends wanting to support them during their problematic pregnancies. We are strongly opposing the proposed changes of the so called “abortion compromise” from 1993, which is still one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.
For more information: Campaign newsletter 4 April 2016: (scroll down)
Protest the conviction of NI woman who took abortion pills at home because she couldn't afford to travel to England

1) Belfast: protest outside the Public Prosecution Service/Royal Courts of Justice, Lower Chichester Street, Thursday 7 April, 5.30-6.30pm, city centre. Hashtags:
#notacriminal ; #trustwomen A statement about Poland will be read out here.
2) Derry: No More Prosecutions, Drop the Charges, protest Saturday 9 April, 2pm, Newmarket Street steps (outside Richmond Centre).
3) London: West End Central Police Station, 27 Savile Row, London W1, 9 April, 1pm. Pro-choice supporters will be ‘handing themselves in’ to the police in solidarity with women in Northern Ireland. Abortion Rights are calling for similar symbolic, small-scale actions across the country. Details at:
Abortion Rights


@All4Choice, 4 April 2016
Alliance for Choice are dismayed at the decision today to hand a suspended prison sentence to a young woman who couldn’t afford to travel to England for an abortion, so bought pills on the internet.
The Northern Ireland Assembly, the Westminster Government and the press should know that to arrest any UK citizen for taking one of the World Health Organization’s safest recommended drugs in order to end her own pregnancy, is the criminalisation of women who can’t afford to travel. This conviction is a threat to all people without similar means, and is a clear signal that women are not recognised as full citizens. This is also an indictment on the State party with responsibility for our Human Rights, which is Westminster.
Alliance for Choice’s #trustwomen Campaign will keep abortion firmly on the political agenda in the run up to the Assembly Election. The campaign will push for progress on abortion legislation in Northern Ireland, which is currently one of the most restrictive in the world. We firmly believe that women should be trusted to know what is best for themselves and their families.
We encourage our Assembly Members (MLAs) to:
1.    Trust Women to make decisions about their own lives
2.    Ask for legal change to allow greater access
3.    A free vote for all MLAs should progressive changes come to the Assembly.
4.    We are urging all our supporters to contact their MLA’s and prospective candidates and tell them that women are not to be criminalised and that it is time we #TRUST WOMEN
For the complete story (though with some errors of law):
Northern Ireland woman who bought abortion pills given suspended prison sentence, 4 April 2016  
Woman carried out home abortion after failing to raise money to travel to England, court hears, 4 April 2016,
Why we reported abortion pills girl to Northern Ireland Police, 6 April 2016 (appalling story)
See also excellent Comment by Emma Campbell, 5 April 2016:
and interview with Goretti Horgan, 5 April 2016:
Editor: Marge Berer

Copyright © 2016 International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion, All rights reserved.