WARSAW – Protection for the unborn seems to be weakening in predominantly Catholic Poland.

The country’s left-wing dominated parliament in late August moved a step closer to allowing abortion on demand. Despite strong opposition from Poland’s Catholic Church leaders, parliament kept alive a proposed law allowing women to obtain abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy. It allows women to have an abortion if they decide they cannot afford to raise the child or are experiencing other personal problems. Many interpret the latter to permit wide-open access to abortion.

The measure would weaken the country’s current law, passed in 1993, which allows abortion only if the pregnancy harms the life of the mother, in cases or rape or incest, or if the child is severely damaged.

According to the CWN news service, opponents of the proposed law, including members of the Democratic Left Alliance, attempted to forestall amendments by arguing that abortion is murder.

A similar proposal in 1995 was vetoed by former Polish president Lech Walsea and a devote Catholic and opponent of abortion.

The Polish Church has also taken a strong stand against the proposed measure. Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the country’s leading church figure, said those supporting the proposed amendments were not welcome to receive the sacraments.

“Those who support legal acts propagating murder exclude themselves from the community of the faithful.” Glemp said.
The new measure also calls for mandatory sex education in schools.