Government reports 782 abortions in 1994

Latest figures out of Poland have given pro-lifers reason to rejoice but also realize that the battle is not yet over.

The U.S. Catholic paper The Wanderer, says that Poland’s Ministry of Health and Public Welfare reports that for the entire year of 1994, 782 abortions were performed in the nation of 40 million—down from last year’s total of 1,208 and the all-time high 123,534 in 1987. Latest Canadian figures show that over 100,000 abortions are committed each year in this country.

Unlike many other countries controlled by the former Soviet Union, Poland has decided to restrict the procedure. In 1993, the Polish government enacted a law outlawing abortion except for proven cases of rape and incest. The law provides for two years imprisonment for anyone causing death to an unborn baby but does not punish the mother.

Through the fall of the Soviet Union and the new law are largely responsible for the drop in abortion, the Catholic Church must also take some of the credit. Poland is predominantly Catholic and the life-promoting message of their beloved Pope John Paul II is said to be getting through

Also, groups such as Human Life International deserve some of the credit, HLI has had a strong presence in eastern Europe spreading the Pope’s message and educating people on ways to fight abortion.

HLI’s Fr. Matthew Habiger says what happened in Poland could happen anywhere.

“When society encourages women to have babies, and gives them some support, there are always fewer abortions, not more. Their law not only protects babies, but protects mothers,” he told The Wanderer.