WILL THE LAW AND JUSTICE PARTY STAND UP FOR LIFE?
Every day, according to the binding law in Polish public hospitals three children are killed. Poles expressed their objection to this mass children killing and collected a record number of pro-life signatures in the history of legislative initiatives – nearly a million. Nearly 450 innocent children have been killed since the day of submitting signatures. – Therefore we began an informative action in electoral districts of members of the Seym Commission of Social Policy and Family. We are going to picket, as citizens have a right to know that their representatives in the Seym were voting against the project which saves human life. In the beginning we are going to picket in front of the office of the chairperson of the commission, an MP Bożena Borys-Szopa from the Law and Justice party - said Kaja Godek to ‘Niedziela’, a proxy of the citizen initiative #Stop Abortion.
Politicians of the Law and Justice party have always voted for pro-life acts. Therefore their electors are surprised by their change of attitude. – We are definitely for the prohibition of abortion but after the unsuccessful attempt in 2016 we wanted something move on in Poland. So, we prepared an act prohibiting only eugenic abortion, which is widely supported by the society - explained Krzysztof Kasprzak from Foundation Life and Family.
An act according to the chairperson
The fact that eugenic abortion is inhuman, was expressed many times by the chairman of the Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński. The Foundation Life and Family prepared a bill draft after various discussions, which has a chance to be enacted. We can say that, hoping for a quick success of the project ‘Stop Abortion’, its authors prepared an act according to Jarosław Kaczyński. – I do not know what happened that the chairman of the Law and Justice party changed his opinion. After all, he often said that he was for the prohibition of eugenic abortion, and the governing party showed that it could carry out much more difficult acts in the Seym – Kaja Godek emphasized.
So far MPs of the law and Justice party have used to say that they were pro-life. However, the truth came out during the last meeting of the Seym commission when an MP Jan Klawiter submitted an application so that MPs would immediately get to work on the project ‘Stop Abortion’. For the conservative electorate of the Law and Justice party, what was shocking was seeing voting when only the MP Klawiter was for the proceeding the act saving human life, and the governing party was voting together with the Civic Platform and .Modern parties. – There is obstruction towards works on the act which can save three children every day. Enacting this bill should be a reaction to the tragedy taking place all the time – the euro-deputy Marek Jurek said to ‘Niedziela’. – It cannot be postponed for later. This is as if the government said that now there is no permission for corruption but it will pursue a fight with it in five years. One cannot agree to robbing the country or tolerate killing people in Polish hospitals – he added.
Although there are people from the Law and Justice party in the commission, who emphasize their faith strongly or even come from Catholic movements, it were them which were voting against the act and sustained from voting. However, what is the worst is that when representatives of the Foundation Life and Family began to criticize the attitude of MPs of the Law and Justice party, they were attacked. – We are used to being attacked by the left side of the political stage. But when we are attacked by the side which refers to Christian values, which is double painful – said Krzysztof Kasprzak.
An attack on the Church
The Law and Justice party is walking a tightrope and plays on emotions and mistreats the issues of life and death. The previous project, in 2016, was rejected by MPs and its authors were criticized. This time it will not be so easy, as they must be aware that the project ‘Stop Abortion’ was consulted with bishops and is fully supported by the Conference of Polish Episcopate. Criticizing the authors and members of the Foundation Life and Family, politicians are criticizing their electors who signed under the project, and are also attacking the institutional Church. – Episcopate did not devote so much place and attention to any other project. Our attitude is clear, consistent and explicit in this issue – Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andranik, a spokesman of the Polish Episcopal Conference told ‘Niedziela’.
Certainly, bishops support the complete prohibition of abortion which would be fully compatible with the teaching of the Church. Therefore, this project of the Foundation Life and Family would only be a step, but a step towards a good direction. – The voice of over 830 thousand citizens is for undertaking works by the commission. This voice cannot be ignored as the voice of God stands up for it, who says in the 5th Commandment: Do not kill – archbishop Marek Jędraszewski , the metropolitan of Cracow and the vice-chairperson of the Polish Episcopal Conference emphasized.
The attitude of the Church is clear in this issue. Therefore, delaying enacting this bill may turn out problematic for the party in the nearest local election, for euro-parliament and later for Seym, as referring to Catholic values and, for example, the teaching of St. John Paul II will only be an untrustworthy slogan. – The Law and Justice party is going on the road of European Christian Democrats. If it gets separated from universal catholic values, we are going to face up a direction to the left and realization of leftist postulates. If it goes so, the Law and Justice party will not differ from the Civic Platform – a euro-deputy Marek Jurek said to ‘Niedziela’.
Eugenics in Tribunal
Politicians of the Law and Justice often say that they are waiting for a statement of the Constitutional Tribunal. Let’s remind that an application in this issue was submitted to the Constitutional Tribunal in October 2017, that is, a few weeks before 830 thousand signatures under this project ‘Stop Abortion’ were brought to Seym.
Only then did the chairman Jarosław Kaczyński give a green light for submitting the application. MPs accused the eugenic premise, referring, among the others, to the statement of the Constutional Tribunal from 1997. – There are no doubts that life of ill or disabled children should be protected in the same way as life of healthy children. The statement from 1997 is explicit and the Constitutional Tribunal often referred to it in the next years – an attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski, a chairman of the Institute for Legal Culture ‘Ordo Iuris’ said to ‘Niedziela’.
Feminist groups are afraid of the acts ‘Stop Abortion’, as much as statements of the Constitutional Tribunal. In order to legalize the abortion law in the future, leftist groups would have to have constitutional majority in Seym. The statement from 1997 has one more merit, as at that time the chairperson of the Constitutional Tribunal was professor Andrzej Zoll, who is an authority today also in leftist groups. – Practically everybody is interested in this issue, knowing that the current law in Poland is unconstitutional. And, unfortunately, nobody has done anything about it. Whereas law is the typical example of discrimination – says Kwaśniewski.
A deliberate blockage?
However, pro-life activists are afraid that the Tribunal is another step to stall for time, as judges are not obliged by any dates. The Speaker of Seym sent a very promising opinion on it to the Constitutional Tribunal on 1 March 2018, but the general procurator Zbigniew Ziobro has not given his opinion yet, which was confirmed in the press office of the Tribunal. Before the current issue of ‘Niedziela’ was completed before publishing, we had not managed to gain the answer to the questions: Why is the opinion being written so long (the application was submitted in autumn) and when can we expect sending it to the Constitutional Tribunal?
As we managed to find out in a few sources, the document of the general procurator had been ready for at least a few weeks, but had not been sent to the Tribunal. Although the opinion of the general procurator is not necessary to make a decision about constitutionality, considering the significance of the issue, the chairman of the Constitutional Tribunal did not decide about the date of the court trial. Judges who are going to give a verdict, are waiting for the opinion of the general procurator. Surely our bill draft changes law as if it was in accordance with the constitution – said Kaja Godek. – We elect politicians for Seym directly and we can inform citizens about their actions. Whereas we do not have any influence on the judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. So, we are afraid that this is another excuse to delay the issue of the citizen project. Our project is in the parliament and it is urgent to deal with it, not looking back at the Tribunal, and later judges of the Constitutional Tribunal will surely confirm that we were right.
A fight for the Law and Justice party
Politicians of the Law and Justice party unofficially excuse themselves with surveys and lack of social support in order to deal with life protection. They are behaving as if they were terrorized by a group of feminists, and also ignoring their electorate and appeals of the Church. – Aggression of extremely feminist groups cannot justify neglecting actions for the right for life of every human being – says archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, a chairperson of the Polish Episcopal Conference.
It must also be reminded that speaking about surveys is not reflected in facts. After all the Law and Justice party explicitly supported complete prohibition of abortion in September 2015, and a few weeks later it gained the best result in the history of the Third Republic of Poland and today it can govern independently. When in January 2018 MPs of the Law and Justice party anonymously supported the project ‘Stop Abortion’, popularity of the party reached nearly 50 percent. A lot of people supported the Law and Justice party, although they did not agree with the government in everything. Poles used to appreciate the Law and Justice party for its political clarity and ideology. If the current direction of the Law and Justice party is maintained, in the near future we are going to face up realization of only leftist political ideas and Christian values will remain meaningless words. – The fight is about human life, and also about what Poland and the Law and Justice party will be like. The very economic social and patriotic growth, separated from Christian ideals will not be sufficient, as it will not be possible to survive in Europe without permanent values, which Polish history shows it clearly – said Krzysztof Kasprzak.
The purpose of the ruthless attacks and threats are Kaja Godek and her family. A few days after MPs rejected the application for proceeding the project ‘Stop Abortion’, the woman had to be taken to hospital. – Doctors were not able to diagnose causes of worrying symptoms. She is still feeling strong physically but the attacks of abortionists and continuous harassment are still noticeable – said Kaja GOdek. – I am not a politician, so I am experiencing such an unclear game which is taking place against me.
Translated by Aneta Amrozik
Niedziela 17/2018 (29 IV 2018)