Poland is considering a new abortion law which will ban all abortions except when the mother's life is in danger, according to media reports.
The country's current law makes abortion illegal except in the cases of incest and rape, life-threatening anomalies of the fetus, or when mother's life is endangered. Abortion of babies with disabilities such as Down Syndrome is also allowed under the current law.
As the bill is set to be discussed in the Polish parliament this week, hundreds of people held demonstrations in many cities around the country and outside the Polish embassy in London to protest the new law.
The new bill will criminalize abortion for supporting the "death of a conceived child." Abortion providers and women who go ahead with abortion in circumstances other than threat to a mother's life will be liable to prison sentences of up to five years.
The new bill was proposed when in March this year a baby at about 24 weeks of gestation was born alive after a botched abortion at Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw. It screamed for an hour before it died unattended by the medical staff. Reports of the death of the baby born alive were reported all around the world and generated widespread outrage over the incident. Medical tests indicated that the baby had Down syndrome.
Head of Poland's Stop Abortion committee, Mariusz Dzierżawski, told New Europe that 58 percent of the Polish people back the new law because "about 1,000 unborn children are legally killed in Poland each year."
"Being suspected of having Down's syndrome is enough to be killed. It must change. We do not fear abortion supporters as they are weak and there are few of them. The pro-life movement is much stronger in our country. We will force the politicians to ban killing people," he said.
Another bill which seeks to legalize on-demand abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy is also headed to the Parliament. Radio Poland reported that a pro-abortion petition on the internet supporting this bill has gained about 215,000 signatures, while the pro-life petition has already has over 450,000 signatures.