Abortion issue leaves Polish opposition in turmoil

Two projects

Yesterday, two projects aiming to reform Polish abortion law were started to be worked on in Sejm, but one of them, the liberal one, has already been rejected.

Empty Sejm

Because many PiS (ACRE) deputies failed to show up on the debate on the project by “Ratujmy Kobiety”, it was possible for the opposition to pass it to a proper sejm commission, that would continue to work on it. However, some of Nowoczesna (ALDE) and PO (EPP) deputies had logged out of the voting system, or even left the voting hall, right before the voting actually happened. This left supporters of liberalisation short of 9 votes.

The consequences

Absence of 37 opposition deputies angered their colleagues. Adam Szłapka (Nowoczesna, ALDE) stated that voting in support of “Ratujmy kobiety” project was “an obligation the opposition had”. Even though Nowoczesna charged these members, that thwarted the voting, with a 1000zł fine, one of the most recognised faces of the party, Joanna Sheuring-Wielgus, stated in an interview for AIP that “she considers leaving the party”. She later confirmed that to WP and together with two other members, suspended her party membership.

PO, on the other hand, struggled to define its position. Some members, like Rałaf Trzaskowski, suggested there was a party discipline to vote for the project and that it was broken by many deputies. Ewa Kopacz, former Prime Minister, and Grzegorz Schetyna, current leader of the party, have both declared that Platforma supports “maintaining the compromise” and aims to protect Poland “against clash of ideologies”. Later during the day, three PO deputies that backed the conservative project, were excluded from the party’s structures.

The turmoil has proven to be an opportunity for the Polish left wing after it failed to secure parliamentary seats in the election of 2015 by a small margin.




  1. You state that “Nowoczesna ruled out a 1000zł fine on these members, that thwarted the voting” although in the same very sentence you provide a link to a twitter post that clearly states that it is exactly otherwise.

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