- Title: Polish women in Belgium join abortion protests
- Date: 24th October 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS HOLDING BLACK BALLOONS AND BANNER READING (Polish) "BLACK PROTEST"/ PROTESTERS RELEASING BLACK BALLOONS INTO AIR
- Embargoed: 8th November 2016 13:59
- Keywords: Poland Belgium Black Protest Abortion Brussels Law and Justice party
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00155D7I3N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Dozens of Polish women dressed in black gathered at central Brussels on Monday (October 24) to protest against new proposals to restrict abortion.
Women's right activists held a protest outside the parliament building in Warsaw on Sunday (October 3) and announced plans to strike on Monday. Similar protests took place in other major Polish cities over the weekend.
Earlier this month, Poland's parliament overwhelmingly rejected plans for a near-total ban on abortion marking an embarrassing setback for the conservative government and the powerful Catholic Church.
But Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS), said his party is working on a new restrictive bill which would outlaw abortions in cases where foetuses are unviable or badly damaged.
The protesters in Brussels gathered at the Schumann roundabout, the heart of the EU (European Union) district which hosts the union's major institutions.
Scores of women, dressed in black, released black balloons into the air to symbolise "dark clouds" gathering over women in Poland.
Poland already has one of Europe's most restrictive abortion laws but the proposals rejected earlier this month would have limited abortion only to cases where the mother's life was in direct danger - a step too far even for many women who helped vote PiS into power a year ago.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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