National revolt not to be taken lightly - Senate speaker
The ongoing protests against a recent court ban on abortion on foetal damage grounds are a national rebellion that cannot be ignored. It is now up to the government to initiate dialogue in the matter, Senate (upper house) Speaker Tomasz Grodzki said on Thursday.
"This national revolt should not be taken lightly. It is the government that must come out with an honest dialogue initiative. If it doesn't, it will be to blame for a social rebellion whose effects are hard to foresee," Grodzki said.
Grodzki said that contrary to the government's claims the protests were not "the work of imaginary extremists," but a "cry of rebellion by people who have been deprived of the right to decide about their lives."
"The nation has given a clear and pointed sign that they have had enough. We've had enough, although we are fully aware of the threats involved in staging protests during the (COVID-19 - PAP) pandemic. The national protests are a signal that the government has lost its hold over the souls of Poles," the Senate head said.
Grodzki also criticised the government's incitement of mob rule tactics against the protesters, calling this "deeply out of tune with our Polish tradition of respect towards women."
"This national revolt should not be taken lightly. The government must understand what drove the people to this dramatic protest. The people cannot be insulted, intimidated or threatened," Grodzki said. He added that the only feasible solution to the conflict was dialogue, and warned against "steeping Poland in a quagmire of quarrels and conflicts."
"The ball is on the government's side. They must be the first to come out with an honest dialogue proposal," Grodzki stressed.
Last Thursday Poland's constitutional court ruled that a 1993 law permitting abortion on foetal damage grounds is unconstitutional. The verdict sparked mass protests which are continuing throughout the country.