Nationwide protests after death of pregnant woman

Leszek Szymański/PAP

On Saturday afternoon a protest under the slogan "Not a single one more" set out from the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw after the death of a 30-year-old woman due to pregnancy complications.

Last weekend, the media published the story of a 30-year-old woman who was hospitalised in Pszczyna, southern Poland. The woman had been admitted to hospital when her amniotic fluid broke in the 22nd week of pregnancy. Her foetus was also found to have defects.

Less than 24 hours after entering hospital she died of septic shock, and her family have blamed doctors for not terminating the pregnancy when they had the chance, which they say contributed to her death.

Therefore, on Saturday, protests under the slogan "Not one more" took place on Saturday in Warsaw and in about 70 cities around Poland and the world.

The protesters who came to the Constitutional Tribunal on Saturday held banners with the slogans: "Her heart was still beating", "She could live" and "Women's rights, human rights". At the beginning of the protest, the organisers asked to hide party flags. Many people held a portrait of the deceased 30-year-old woman.

Amongst those taking part in the protest were the Civic Platform (PO) leader Donald Tusk, the political/feminist activist MP Barbara Nowacka and the Deputy Sejm (lower house) Speaker Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska.

A ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal on October 22, last year, outlawed pregnancy terminations for foetal abnormalities, virtually the only type of abortion currently performed in the country. Abortions of pregnancies resulting from rape and those threatening the life of women are still formally legal.

The ruling resulted in several days of mass protests last year across the country.