Death threats and phone calls: the women answering cries for help one year on from Poland’s abortion ban

As new laws hit the most vulnerable pregnant women in need of care, volunteers struggle to help those unable to access safe abortions

‘I used to judge people’: the Polish woman who became her city’s lone voice for abortion rights

One year ago, on the night Poland introduced one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, the phone started ringing at the country’s most high-profile family planning organisation. Over the course of the evening, volunteers took calls from more than 20 panicked women who suddenly found their next-day appointments for abortions cancelled.

One of the calls was from hospital staff at a loss over what to do about a woman who broke down after being told that her termination would not go ahead. “She went into a frenzy, got into the hospital lift and was going up and down, up and down, without stopping for an hour,” says Krystyna Kacpura, director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning (Federa).

Continue reading…