Jan 28, 2021 - World

Thousands rally as Poland's near-total abortion ban takes effect

Demonstrators take part in a pro-choice protest in the center of Warsaw, on January 27
Thousands of demonstrators take part in a pro-abortion rights protest in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday night. Photo: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images

Protests erupted across Poland as a near-total ban on abortion came into effect Wednesday despite widespread opposition to the legislation, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Abortion is now only legal in cases of rape, incest or if there's a risk to a pregnant woman's life.

  • The ruling Law and Justice Party delayed implementing the October court decision after it sparked the biggest protests since the fall of communism's in 1989.
  • The rallies held amid spiking COVID-19 cases show the anger many feel toward a conservative government that's "growing increasingly autocratic," NYT notes.
Go deeper