Polish court seals divisive ruling to tighten abortion law

International

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s top court on Wednesday confirmed its highly divisive ruling that will further tighten the predominantly Catholic nation’s strict anti-abortion law and that triggered weeks of protests after it was first announced in October.

The Constitutional Tribunal published the justification of its decision, which means it can now be officially printed and take immediate effect. The printing was expected later Wednesday.

Women’s organizations that led nationwide protests last year against the Oct. 22 ruling warned of new action Wednesday night.

The massive demonstrations by mostly young people defied Poland’s pandemic ban on gatherings and were highly critical of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party. Some led to clashes with the police.

The court ruling bans the abortion of fetuses with congenital defects, and critics argue that it narrows the already tight law to a near total ban of abortions. Termination of pregnancy will now be allowed only if the woman’s health is threatened or if the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act, such as rape or incest.

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