Poland’s unprecedented interference with the Czech Republic’s right to legal abortion occurred in March, but only recently came to light. It also demonstrates that the current Polish Catholic fundamentalists have become completely detached from reality, living in an imaginary world that is a projection of their own propaganda.
There does not appear to be a more appropriate way to describe the Polish embassy’s March letter to the Czech Ministry of Health. It was signed by Antoni Wręga, the Polish chargé d’affaires in Prague.
On Monday (May 3), a spokesman for the Polish government confirmed a report in the Czech weekly Respekt that a representative of the Polish embassy in Prague had written to the Czech health minister in March, requesting that he intervene to block legislation being debated in the Czech parliament that would clarify the terms under which foreigners can obtain abortions in the country.
Wręga writes in his letter:
We believe it is unfortunate for Czech-Polish relations if legislative proposals to legalize commercial abortion tourism are openly justified by a desire to avoid Polish legislation protecting unborn human life, and if these proposals are intended to encourage Polish citizens to violate Polish law. Adoption of such motivated legislative changes appears to us to be a step incompatible with the excellent relations between our two countries.
According to Respekt, in reply to Wręga’s letter, Czech health minister Jan Blatný responded at the end of March that his ministry lacked the authority to interfere with legislative processes handled by the parliament and that, in any case, abortions performed on Polish women on Czechia’s territory were legal under both domestic and EU law.
When approached by journalists, Szymon Szynkowski, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that he sees nothing unusual in the letter. He believes that monitoring third-country law that are potentially “encouraging” Polish citizens to break Polish law and informing the diplomatic post about it is completely legal.
It was understandable that the Polish embassy was concerned about the possibility of legislation being introduced that would represent an attempt to circumvent Polish law and encourage the violation of the rights of Polish citizens in Czechia,
Szynkowski was quoted as saying in the Polish media.
Approximately 200,000 abortions are performed illegally or abroad each year by Polish women who routinely travel to neighboring countries such as Czechia and Slovakia, or even further west, to terminate pregnancies, according to Polish feminist groups. According to women’s rights organizations, the demand for abortions abroad has increased in recent months as a result of Poland’s near-total abortion ban, which took effect when the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling was published in January, despite months of protests in Poland.
This is obviously a bad joke, but this is the current state of affairs in Poland. The ruling right-wing hardliners have completely lost it. They used to appear to be good strategists, but now it’s just ideology-driven political thuggery. They’ve had Trump in the past, and he was their guiding light. When he left office, they lost their most important ally in their irrational ideological offensive. They are now alone, and the only thing they have are their strange ideas and the propaganda that was originally intended for the public, but as the latter rejected it, they began to believe it more and more. And it’s engulfing them. I suppose we should now be waiting for instructions from the Saudi embassy to prevent female Saudi citizens from exposing their faces in Poland,
Maciej Wiśniowski, editor of the Polish left-wing portal STRAJK, told The Barricade.
Photo: A feminised version of The Anchor – the symbol of the Polish Underground State and Armia Krajowa – Polish resistance movement during World War Two (source: Frank Myonk, BARICADA Publishing House Ltd.)
Bulgarian and Polish activist, journalist, editor, publisher and translator. In the late `90 active in the Polish left and later in the labor movement, particularly the biggest Polish labor confederation — The All-Poland Trade Union Alliance. Until 2012 editor-in-chief of its weekly magazine. Contributor at Baricada.org and Strajk.eu, Polish correspondent for the Bulgarian National Radio.
Currently working as an editor and journalist for the Polish labor portal Strike and as a correspondent to the Bulgarian National Radio in Poland.