Women's Strike stage more countrywide protests

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Thousands of people took to the streets across Poland on Saturday to protest against plans to increase the country's abortion restrictions.

One of the biggest protests, held among others to mark the 102nd anniversary of gaining voting rights by women, took place in Warsaw.

During a short blockade of a major street, opposition MP Barbara Nowacka was sprayed with tear gas by police. The incident is being analysed by the police. Among the banners carried by protesters was one which read: "sorry for the inconvenience but we have a government to overthrow."

During the several-hour protest police also detained ten people. Similar protest held across the country passed without any major incidents.

The ongoing protests were sparked by the Constitutional Tribunal's October 22 judgement saying that a 1993 law permitting abortion when there is severe damage to the foetus is unconstitutional. Poland's abortion law is already among the strictest in Europe but the Tribunal's ruling, if it come in force, will mean an almost total ban. Once the decision comes into effect, terminations will only be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother's health is at risk.