Dutch liberal MEP Sophie in ’t Veld (ALDE/D66) urges the European Commission to secure the health and rights of women and girls in Poland. She has written a letter to express her strong concerns about the law signed off to reinstate the prescription requirement for the morning-after pill, the last emergency contraception that has an over-the-counter status on the Polish market.
In ’t Veld: “The governing populist conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party is enforcing a sexual counter-revolution, against all health interests of over 9 million Polish women and girls. The nationalist government is robbing Polish citizens of their fundamental rights. Like all European women, Polish women should have the right to free choice.”
The morning-after pill law is the latest attack on women’s rights. Women and girls 15 and over will now need a doctor’s prescription. In ’t Veld: “Limiting women’s access to the morning-after pill will be disastrous for young women, particularly in conservative rural areas. Victims of rape may be especially disadvantaged by these reforms. It is an absolute disgrace and a blatant violation of our shared European values.”
At the same time rightwing lawmakers are pushing ahead with a near-total ban on abortion, while the existing law is already among the most restrictive in Europe. In ’t Veld: “Sexism and restricting women's rights is integral part of the nationalist agenda of PiS and likeminded parties. The ongoing constitutional crisis, the government’s control of the public media, NGOs and the politicization of the national administration are only contributing to isolating the country. This is not what Polish people voted for in 2015.”