Most Poles support less restrictive abortion laws

The majority of Poles are in favour of more liberal abortion laws, according to a new poll published today.

The IBRIS poll found that 78 percent want less-restrictive laws, while 10 percent of those polled want the practice outlawed altogether. Just 12 percent opted for the current system, which allows terminations only when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when it threatens the health or life of the mother.

The poll results will be welcomed by campaigners fighting for the liberalisation of the country’s recently tightened abortion law.

Last October, Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled against abortion on foetal-damage grounds, practically banning nearly all forms of terminations.

The ruling prompted thousands to take to the streets across Poland in protest in a series of demonstrations.

Among those supporting more liberal abortion laws, according to the poll, 25.6 wanted a return to the 1993 abortion compromise (which permitted abortions when pre-natal tests revealed a high probability of irreversible damage to the foetus or its affliction with an incurable and life-endangering ailment).

Another 25.8 percent supported a proposal by the opposition Civic Platform, party, which would allow abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy following consultations with a doctor and psychologist.

The legalisation of abortion on demand until the 12th week of pregnancy, extended to 18 weeks if the pregnancy resulted from rape, and to 24 weeks if the foetus was found to have a severe birth defect, was backed by 16.8 percent of respondents.