Poland’s new abortion laws have been thrown into chaos after a spy mowed down protestors, a glamourous TV presenter quit her job, and the president’s daughter and wife slated the new bill, saying they think women have the right to choose.
A spy working for Poland’s equivalent of MI5 has been arrested after ploughing his car into a group of women protesting against the country’s new abortion laws.
The 44-year-old man was captured on mobile phone camera ramming his BMW into the protesters as they tired to block traffic in the Polish capital Warsaw.
It follows a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Tribunal court that abortion due to foetal defect was unconstitutional, a decision which has sparked outrage across the county.
A spy working for Poland’s equivalent of MI5 ploughed his car into a group of women protesting against the country’s new abortion laws
The 44-year-old man was captured on mobile phone camera ramming his BMW into the protesters as they tired to block traffic in the Polish capital Warsaw
Glamorous TV presenter Zaneta Rosinska (pictured) from the state-owned TVP3 channel quit her job in disgust at the new laws
The video posted on YouTube shows the officer, identified by local news outlet TVN24 as working for Poland’s Internal Security Service (ABW), shoving through the protestors and leaving one sprawling on the floor as he speeds off.
The woman later needed to be hospitalised.
A police spokesman said: ‘Currently, police investigators, under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office, are analysing all the evidence from the accident. No decisions have yet been made as to what specific charges will be presented to the man.’
They added that he may face up to three years in jail for endangering life.
On Wednesday, the country’s abortion laws were thrown into further chaos when Kinga Duda, the daughter of Poland’s president Andrzej Duda, posted a direct criticism of the new bill saying ‘I cannot accept […] the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal.’
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda (pictured) said women themselves should have the right to abortion in case of congenitally damaged foetuses, apparently breaking ranks with conservative leadership
Posting on Twitter, the 24-year-old, who was educated in England and did a scholarship at the prestigious WilmerHale law firm in London before taking up a job as a consultant for her president dad, said she was unable to ‘fully put herself in the position of a woman who, while expecting a child, learns that it has been diagnosed with severe and irreversible damage or an incurable disease that threatens its life.
‘I believe that according to my personal beliefs, I would not decide to terminate the pregnancy. I do not think, however, that other women should think and act in the same way as me. Every human has free will.’
This was followed by her mother, Poland’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, also calling the government’s decision into doubt, posting on Twitter: ‘Over the last 5 years, I have met many women who, having such a right, decided not to terminate their pregnancy.(…) These women are the Heroines. But my question is: can women be forced into heroism? I have doubts here.’
Earlier, glamorous TV presenter Zaneta Rosinska from the state-owned TVP3 channel quit her job in disgust at the new laws.
Rosinska, who has been at the station for three years, posted on social media: ‘Today I resigned from working on TVP3 Poznan.
‘I am glad that I was able to meet people whose views are similar to mine.’
She then added a lightning bolt to her profile photo symbolizing the protests against the Constitutional Tribunal’s verdict limiting the right to abortion.
Rosinska, who has been at the station for three years, posted on social media: ‘Today I resigned from working on TVP3 Poznan’
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said women themselves should have the right to abortion in case of congenitally damaged foetuses, apparently breaking ranks with a conservative leadership that pushed a ban that has led to mass street protests.
‘It cannot be that the law requires this kind of heroism from a woman,’ Mr Duda said in an interview with radio RMF FM.
He spoke after seven straight days of huge protests across Poland following a constitutional court ruling declaring it unconstitutional to terminate a pregnancy due to foetal congenital defects.
The ruling effectively bans almost all abortions in a country that already had one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.
That ruling has triggered huge nationwide protests, with young people heeding a call by women’s rights activists to come to the streets to defend their freedoms.
Deep divisions that had been brewing for a long time in Poland are now erupting on the streets.
Men with a far-right group, All-Polish Youth, attacked women taking part in protests overnight in some cities, including Wroclaw, Poznan and Bialystok.
Their actions came after Poland’s most powerful politician, ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, called for his supporters to turn out on the streets to defend churches after women disrupted masses last Sunday and spray-painted churches.
Many interpreted Mr Kaczynski’s call as permission for violence against the protesters.
Mr Duda’s comments were in sharp contrast to his initial reaction last week, when he welcomed the ruling, and stressed his opposition to abortion even when a foetus is irreversibly damaged.
He also signalled a difference of opinion with Mr Kaczynski on the issue of security, saying police should have the sole responsibility for protecting the streets.