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Tens of thousands gather for pro-life march in Poland

A pro-life march held in the streets of Warsaw, Poland saw crowds of 50,000 people attend on Sunday the 14th of April after some Polish lawmakers attempted to amend the abortion law in the country.

Earlier that week the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish legislature, voted on four abortion–related proposals Friday and a committee was created to draft new laws on abortion. The votes from members of the Sejm were on the dismissal of four proposals that would amend the current abortion laws in Poland. 

The first bill (Bill 176) would allow abortions up to 12 weeks and after 12 weeks in cases of severe conditions. The second bill (Bill 177) would decriminalise assisting women in obtaining abortion. Bill 223, the third bill, would have reversed a 2020 ruling which states that abortion in cases where a prenatal test determines a high probability of a life-limiting condition for the unborn child is unconstitutional. The final bill, Bill 224, would specifically address how the Polish government regulates women's access to abortions. The motion to dismiss these bills failed on all four of the proposals.

“We want every Polish citizen to have the right to life from conception to natural death,” Bogusław Kiernicki, one of the organisers of the march, told the crowd as they gathered on Castle Square in Warsaw’s old town. “It is not an [act of] grace that we allow a child to be born; it is their sacred right.” Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, former president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference,  recently pointed out that Article 38 of the Polish Constitution “guarantees the legal protection of the life of every human being,” which was confirmed by the Constitutional Court in a ruling on the 28th of May 1997.

The Polish National March For Life was organised by the Fundacja św. Benedykta (St. Benedict Foundation) with the motto “Long live Poland”. The march was sponsored by many organisations, including the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

Many of the people in the crowd were carrying Polish flags or posters with pro-life imagery. The National Catholic Register reported that there were also many signs being carried with messages such as “To kill or not to kill, that is the choice”, “I choose life”, “Together for life”, and “Love them both”. It was also stated that, at the march, the heartbeat of an unborn child was played over loudspeakers. The march was broadcast to several radio stations across Poland.

The spiritual director for Polish broadcast station EWTN Polska, Father Piotr W. Wisniowski, stated that Poland’s National March for Life took place on exactly “the 1,058th anniversary of the momentous event of the baptism of Poland (April 14, 966) and on the National Day of the Christianization of Poland, established by the Polish Parliament five years ago.”

A pro-life federation has stated “In the face of the promotion of abortion in recent months, the march will be a rare occasion to show our support for the protections of human life from conception to natural death.” The Catholic Church of Poland called for Sunday April 14th to be a day of prayer to defend “conceived life”.

“Life is a gift from God and as such it is an inalienable right of every human being, which is why it must be protected and supported at every stage of its development.” president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda, stated before the march kicked off. He stressed that “respect for life, which belongs to the most important values, is one of the fundamental duties of every human being.” 

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