Presidential initiative possible solution to abortion conflict - gov't spokesperson

The government is open to the president's initiative regarding the current abortion conflict, because it could offer a solution, government spokesperson Piotr Mueller said on Thursday in a radio interview.

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.

On Wednesday President Andrzej Duda suggested that the new abortion regulations should be discussed with experts to ensure that they protected children and did not expose women to unnecessary suffering.

"What the president has pointed to could be some kind of a solution. I am very interested in the president's initiative," Mueller said.

He added that he did not know the details of Duda's initiative, but admitted that the question of foetal defects was one of the issues that needed discussion.

Referring to the protests, Mueller said that the emotions around the Thursday ruling were "understandable," but observed that dialogue in the matter should take place in parliament and expert teams, and not on the streets.

He added that the protesters included both opponents of the new regulations as well as advocates of more liberal abortion laws, and said that Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party will never agree to abortion on demand.