By Jonathon Van Maren
If the world were not transfixed by the unfolding electoral disaster in the United States, all eyes would be fixed on Poland. On October 22, the nation’s top court ruled that eugenic abortions — those performed on pre-born children with fatal fetal abnormalities — were unconstitutional.
There are only around 1,000 abortions each year in Poland, which already has very restrictive abortion laws, and nearly all of them are procured for this reason. To the shock of Law and Justice (PiS), the conservative ruling party, the country promptly exploded.
There have been days of protests, with over 100,000 marching in Warsaw last Friday. Aerial photos show an ocean of people converging in the streets, with COVID-19 restrictions still ostensibly limiting groups to only five. By Tuesday, over half a million people had joined the protests, the largest street rallies since the Solidarity protests that toppled Communism. Armies of police officers were deployed to protect the homes of politicians, including deputy prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński’s residence, as well as churches, which almost immediately became flashpoints for angry crowds. Protestors stormed services, calling for congregants to “pray for abortion for all.”