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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 
A far right vision realized

by digby

















Here's an interesting story about women's rights in a far right country in today's Washington Post Monkey Cage:

Since 1993, Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe: abortion is only available in cases of grave fetal defect, rape/incest, or threat to the life of the mother, and only within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  This law replaced communist-era laws that made abortion widely available for four decades, and was termed a “compromise” between the proponents of a total ban and those who wanted a public referendum on the matter.

But now a new bill, pushed by a pro-life foundation and the Ordo Iuris legal institute, would make abortion illegal in all circumstances. Doctors who performed an abortion could be punished with jail terms of up to five years. The only exception would be the “unintended” death of a fetus while saving a woman’s life.

The Roman Catholic Church in Poland (a country where more than 95 percent of poll respondents call themselves Catholic) publicly supports the initiative, and has repeatedly called for a total ban on abortion. The leaders of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has sole control of the government, Prime Minister Beata Szydło and party chair Jarosław Kaczyński, both spoke out in favor of the proposal.
Here's the thing. It's not really the Church that is leading the charge. And there's a strong public backlash against it. What pushing this is partisan politics:
The right-wing governing party, PiS, has been controversial – verging at times on authoritarian — since it took office with an absolute majority in October 2015. PiS has undermined the Constitutional Tribunal, which is very roughly equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court, by packing it with its loyalists and imposing new constraints on the Tribunal’s authority. It moved to control public news media by firing public media officials and journalists and replacing them with party loyalists. The party has announced it would dismiss thousands of civil service servants, and hire only those loyal to the party. And it has appointed ministers in sensitive sectors (especially Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Defense) with extreme and divisive views.

However, now that PiS has the majority in parliament, the Church and pro-life organizations have forced its hand, publicly insisting that the ban be introduced and passed. PiS cannot hide behind either coalition politics or a claimed lack of votes: It is the only party in government and has a parliamentary majority. Having portrayed itself as a defender of religious values and the Church, PiS cannot ignore the initiative. It cannot simply reject the proposed bills, since it criticized previous governments for doing so. And because its other policies and actions have been so controversial, PiS needs the Church to ensure a loyal base of support.
The good news is that this could never happen here if say, Ted Cruz happened to pull off a win next November.

Right?

.