A grassroots initiative has been launched in Poland in an attempt to ban abortion without exceptions.
Christian Today reports that the catalyst for the initiative was the horror of a botched abortion in which the 24-week-old child, diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was left unattended to die.
"The scream of this child was so traumatic for the personnel that they declared that they will never forget it," Polish reporter Anna Wiejak told the news outlet Church Militant.
Currently, abortion is legal in Poland only in instances of rape, if the life of the mother is in danger, or if the baby has been diagnosed with a handicap or abnormality up to 25 weeks gestation.
The initiative to ban abortion entirely is being spearheaded by a group called Fundacja Pro (Pro Foundation) which is seeking to collect 100,000 signatures so that the ban will be considered by Poland’s legislature.
“The proposed draft ensures that all children, before and after birth, have equal rights and protection of life and health," stated the legal group Ordo Iuris.
"It removes the three existing circumstances under which an abortion is currently permitted. The initiative requires the state to support families raising handicapped children or children conceived in circumstances related to the commission of an offence,” the group further outlines.
Poland’s population is predominately Catholic and the country officially became a Christian nation in A.D. 966.
Catholic leaders who support the abortion ban say that the anniversary of this Christian conversion would be a fitting time to enact it.
"In this jubilee year of Poland's baptism, we urge all people of goodwill, believers and nonbelievers, to take action to ensure full legal protection of unborn lives," said a statement from the Polish bishops' conference.
Some of the country’s influential women leaders, however, although acknowledging the tragedy of abortion, are more hesitant to enact a total ban.
"Every abortion is a tragedy, but we should not aggravate women's tragedy by forcing them to give birth to children of rape or forcing them to risk their own life or health or that of their child," they wrote in an open letter.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has said that the statement from the women "has clearly pointed us in the right direction ... Each of us must now decide according to conscience. But it will certainly be bad if such a sensitive, important issue becomes the object of a political struggle."
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Publication date: April 26, 2016