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Survey signals most Poles against outright ban on abortion

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Survey signals most Poles against outright ban on abortion

A survey by Poland's Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS) indicates that the vast majority of Poles are against a complete ban on abortion.  The poll comes as legislation is expected to come before Poland's lower house of parliament, potentially outlawing abortion. Some 84 percent of respondents in the CBOS poll declared that abortion should be permitted if a woman's life is endangered by a pregnancy. Meanwhile, 76 percent likewise said that the procedure should be allowed if the mother's health is at risk, and 74 percent said abortion should be allowed if the woman has been raped.

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Since 1993, Poland has had among the most stringent abortion laws in Europe. The procedure is only permitted if a woman's life or health are jeopardised by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape or incest, or if the foetus is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out within the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.

Citizens' bill

NGO the PRO Foundation (Fundacja Pro) has gathered the necessary 100,000 signatures for a so-called citizen's bill, under the slogan 'Stop Abortion'. The action was supported by the Roman Catholic Church in an open letter to MPs and Senators by the Episcopate. Prime Minister Beata Szydło of the Law and Justice party has said she is in favour of a complete ban.

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Protests took place across Poland following the prime minister's statement, and there have also been pro-life marches. The survey was carried out on a random selection of 1104 Polish adults, between 31 March and 7 April 2016.

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