BLACK THURSDAY IN THE SEYM
‘Black protests’ aroused by the opposition scared politicians and they withdrew their support for the legislative initiative ‘Stop abortion’
A wave of protests of extremely leftist organizations entailed a much bigger number of manipulated women who did not want to hear any logical arguments. They were made to believe that they would ‘go to prison after abortion’ or they will ‘die in agony’.
As a result, the Law and Justice party, which had supported the bill draft ‘Stop abortion’ unanimously, prepared by the Institute ‘Ordo Iuris’, submitted a request in the Justice and Human Rights Commission for a negative opinion, and on the following day – on Thursday 6 October this year, the Seym rejected the bill draft about prohibition of abortion, by most votes.
The attitude of the Church
On day before voting, in their letter from the 374th meeting of the Polish Episcopal Conference, bishops reminded teaching of St. John Paul II from the encyclical ‘Evangelium vitae’. ‘Acceptance of abortion through mentality, custom and even law is a significant sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of moral sense, which is slowly losing ability of distinguishing between the good and the evil, even when it concerns the basic right for life (…). What is killed, is the human being at the beginning of its life, that is an innocent human being’ – they quoted in their letter. Bishop indicated that institutions of the Church do not deal with preparing civilian drafts, but they use the right to express their opinions on suggested legal regulations. In this context, the Polish Episcopal Conference emphasizes that life of every man is the basic and intact value. Also, bishops emphasized clearly that they do not support legal writings drafts which envisage punishing women after done abortion.
In the morning before the key voting on 6 October the press spokesman of the Polish Episcopal Conference Fr. Paweł Rytel-Adrianik reminded the earlier letter in which bishops ‘support all drafts postulating a complete protection of life from conception to natural death, but they do not support legal writings drafts which envisage punishing women’.
A missed chance
Authorities of Law and Justice party also said that they were pro-life and also for the so-called abortion compromise. However, it had already been known since the early spring that a few hundred thousand signatures had got to the Seym. Nothing was done to prepare the public opinion for it and mobilize political groups. At that time the extreme leftist party and media approving it were effective in manipulating the public opinion and were arousing its protests.
We saw the effect in the last weeks, when thousand people went out into streets, led by politicians of the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition. In the camp of the authority there appeared panic. First the marshal of the senate Stanisław Karczewski prepared the Act from which the so-called abortion eugenic exception had been removed. The problem is that in the Seym there was still the Act ‘Stop abortion’, which guaranteed much better protection of life. So, the Marshal did not gather required signatures.
The Law and Justice party is trying to save the situation. For, on the one hand, it has got very emotional feminists, and, on the other hand – lay Catholics who are surprised because for eight years the Law and Justice party has been voting for life. Now it has promised that it would submit the bill draft ‘Ordo luris’ to the commission and will add some amendments to it there. – What has happened that during two week you changed your mind? – dr Joanna Banasiuk asked rhetorically, representing the civilian draft in the Seym. Although she suggested resignation from the writing about punishing women, it did not help.
Change of tactics
During voting in the Seym, the governmental program was presented in the Seym, which is to calm the conservative part of the public opinion. The prime minister Beata Szydło spoke about support for families bringing up disabled children from 2017. There is also to be an action promoting life protection. – I am for life. As the prime minister of Poland, I feel responsible for its protection. I think that responsibility of the whole political class is cooling emotions now. The Polish government will do everything to protect life – the chief of the government said.
A few hours after some MPs of the Law and Justice party voted for rejection of the bill draft with tears in their eyes, the Presidium of the Polish Episcopal Conference edited another letter. ‘In the current discussed matter of human life protection, the Polish Episcopal Conference emphasizes that auxiliary bill drafts are important, whose purpose is support people in their difficult life situations. However, it does not acquit us form a duty of aiming at complete life protection from conception to natural death. This is a task for both MPs and all people of good will, regardless of their religion or opinions’ – bishops wrote.
On the basis of social media one can notice that the Law and Justice party has got a big problem as embittered electors do not believe in spoken promises. They remember a situation after which Marek Jurek left his party. The only solution is a dynamic implementation of a program about which the Prime Minister spoke and beginning to inform the society about the unborn life. But beside it, it is necessary to work on the Act soon, which will protect unborn children from death better and more effectively.