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Poland’s lawmakers reject bill seeking to outlaw abortion

December 2, 2021 GMT
Women held signs saying "Don't ask for my blood, Poland," during a demonstration in front of the Polish parliament in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 1, 2021. Poland's lawmakers have voted to reject a legislative proposal that would outlaw abortion as homicide and introduce prison sentences for terminating pregnancies. The bill calls for prison terms ranging from 5 to 25 years and in some cases life sentences. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
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Women held signs saying "Don't ask for my blood, Poland," during a demonstration in front of the Polish parliament in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 1, 2021. Poland's lawmakers have voted to reject a legislative proposal that would outlaw abortion as homicide and introduce prison sentences for terminating pregnancies. The bill calls for prison terms ranging from 5 to 25 years and in some cases life sentences. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
1 of 3
Women held signs saying "Don't ask for my blood, Poland," during a demonstration in front of the Polish parliament in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 1, 2021. Poland's lawmakers have voted to reject a legislative proposal that would outlaw abortion as homicide and introduce prison sentences for terminating pregnancies. The bill calls for prison terms ranging from 5 to 25 years and in some cases life sentences. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s lawmakers on Thursday rejected a civic legislative proposal that would have outlawed abortion as homicide.

The vote to reject the proposal at the initial stage was 361-48 with 12 abstentions, and was greeted with applause.

It was overwhelming, also because most among the 228 ruling right-wing party’s lawmakers voted against it. The Law and Justice party said the proposal was extreme and counterproductive. Just 41 among its lawmakers were for proceeding with work on it.

Law and Justice’s rejection of the project was notable because last year it had Poland’s restrictive abortion law tightened, drawing massive street protests.

Submitted by the anti-abortion Pro-Right to Life Foundation, the proposal called for up to 25 years in prison or even life sentences for getting an abortion or assisting a woman to get one.

Poland bans abortion except in cases when the woman’s health or life is in danger or when the pregnancy results from a crime like rape or incest.

In practice, Polish women travel abroad for abortions or order abortion pills through the mail.