- Title: Polish lawmakers vote for bill criminalising 'promoting underage sex'
- Date: 16th October 2019
- Summary: MOBILE PHONE SHOWING LIVESTREAM OF PROTEST
- Embargoed: 30th October 2019 18:28
- Keywords: Polish parliament sexual education Law and Justice party protest in Poland
- Location: WARSAW, POLAND
- City: WARSAW, POLAND
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002B1CLFZT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Protesters gathered outside the Polish parliament on Wednesday (October 16) to protest against a bill to criminalize "the promotion of underage sexual activity," in a move seen by some as a government effort to court conservative support and which outraged liberals who say the bill aims to ban sex education.
As the lawmakers from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party voted for the bill to go to a parliamentary commission for further work, hundreds of protesters were chanting and brandishing placards such as "Education protects against violence" and "Banning sex education is rape."
Antonina Lewandowska, a 23-year-old sex educator from the Ponton Group, a voluntary organization that provides sex education said many people who do sex education in Poland are victims of direct attacks and threats even though sexual education was a basic right of every person.
Polish schools do not offer formal sex education, instead teach students how to "prepare for family life." Some cities run by more liberal parties have allowed sexual education programs in schools, prompting a backlash from the PiS and the Catholic Church.
The PiS won parliamentary elections in Poland last Sunday, but far-right and staunchly Catholic voters also managed to introduce candidates to parliament.
Some political analysts think the PiS, which lost seats in the upper house and won the same number of seats in the lower house as in 2015, wants to show such voters it is the best party to represent them, which may result in the party turning further to the right and to the Church.
(Production: Jaroslaw Gawlowski, Malgorzata Wojtunik)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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