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    Polish president against the liberalisation of abortion law

    Andrzej Duda, the president, will not sign into law any bill that liberalises Poland’s restrictive abortion law, a presidential aide has said.

    Donald Tusk, the leader of the main opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO), said on Wednesday that “on the first day after we win the election, we’ll put forward a bill before the Sejm (lower house of parliament – ed.) which will make abortion until the 12th week (of pregnancy – ed.) a sole decision of the woman.”

     

    Poland will hold the next parliamentary election in the autumn of 2023. Tusk’s declaration has sent a strong signal toward the left-leaning electorate while antagonising the more conservative wing of his own party.

     

    But Pawel Szrot, head of the presidential office, said on Saturday: “As far as I’m familiar with the president’s world view, position and opinions, he would not sign a liberalisation of the abortion law that would make abortion possible until the 12th week of pregnancy.”

     

    “As long as the president holds his office, it is obvious that his signature under such a bill is impossible,” Szrot added.

     

    Duda’s term of office ends in 2025.

     

    All abortion in Poland is now outlawed except when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when it threatens the health or life of the mother, following a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Tribunal in October 2020. The verdict was prompted by a query to the Tribunal submitted by over a hundred MPs, mainly from the ruling party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS).

     

    The opposition accuses PiS of politicising the Tribunal by selecting judges that used to be party members and those that support government policies and claims the verdict was strongly influenced by the ruling camp.

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