Radical abortion supporters are targeting churches across Poland after the country’s highest court ruled Oct. 22 that a law permitting abortion for fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional.
While pro-life advocates celebrated the Constitutional Tribunal’s decision, pro-abortion activists took to the streets in protest, with London-based Amnesty International and two New York-based organizations, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Human Rights Watch, adding fuel to the fire.
“Poland must act now to bring its law into line with other European Union member states and legalize abortion on a woman’s request or broad social grounds, and guarantee women’s full and effective access to care in situations where women’s physical or mental health is at risk,” said Leah Hoctor, regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Unlike many European countries, Poland is known for its conservative government and its religious culture, ranking No. 8 in a 2018 Pew Research survey of Europe’s most religious countries.
But abortion-rights groups have been cultivating a strong following for decades and are now encouraging abortion activists to disrupt church services in protest.
In fact, LifesiteNews reported that pro-abortion protesters invaded Poznań Cathedral during mass, chained themselves to the altar rails and occupied the historic building for a few hours. Their signs expressed such sentiments as “Catholics also need abortion” and “Shame.”
Some Poles blame the global pandemic for the recent violence.
“Such a decision by the [Polish] supreme court would have not [sparked] such violence even five years ago,” Dr. Bawer Aondo-Akaa, a prominent pro-life activist, said. “Ever since the corona crisis started, ever since the pressure on society has been so great, people have really been on edge. I think this was a spark that made people already stressed out really aggressive and even more stressed.”
Others attribute the chaos to a lack of support from the international community.
“We are witnessing a great attack against Poland—in the European Parliament, in the Western media, among the EU political elite,” Grzegorz Górny, a well-known Polish journalist, said. “Polish leftists have been organizing street demonstrations for four days; they are aggressive, throw stones at the police, destroy the offices of PiS (the governing nationalist Law and Justice party) MPs, paint offensive slogans on churches … and disrupt holy masses.
“There were no voices of support from around the world for the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, the ruling right wing and Polish Catholics,” he continued. “Nobody said it was a historic event. Nobody said that the Polish pro-life decision goes against all global trends. … We have the impression that nobody … cares about it.”
On Oct. 25, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki issued an appeal for peace after his church was one of those targeted by pro-abortion rioters.
“Profanity, violence, abusive inscriptions, and the disturbance of services and profanations that have been committed in recent days—although they may help some people to defuse their emotions—are not the right way to act in a democratic state,” he said.
Gądecki went on to add that the church will not stop fighting for the unborn.
“For her part, the church cannot cease to defend life, nor can she fail to proclaim that every human being must be protected from conception until natural death.”
Above: A woman holds a sign with the words “This is war” in front of riot police at the Three Crosses church in Warsaw, Poland, on October 26.
Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via AP