Polish Victors Look to Allow More Abortions

WARSAW, Poland, SEPT. 28, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The left-wing alliance that won Poland´s general election has announced plans to change the country´s tough anti-abortion law.

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«We believe abortions should be allowed when the woman faces hardship,» Marek Pol told a news conference Wednesday.

Pol leads the small Labor Union (UP) party, which is allied to the victorious ex-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD). He said an abortion bill would be a second priority after a rescue program for public finances and speeding up European Union membership talks, Reuters reported.

The SLD-UP coalition, which won Poland´s fourth free general election since the 1989 fall of communism with 41% of the vote, will now embark on talks with other parties on forming a government — either a minority or coalition Cabinet.

Poland´s 1997 anti-abortion law allows abortion only in cases of irreparable damage to the fetus, serious danger to the woman´s health, or when pregnancy results from rape. Doctors who perform illegal abortions face prison terms of up to two years.

A vote on abortion could be close in Parliament, with the leftist SLD-UP coalition about 10 seats short of an outright majority and other parties generally opposed to abortion on demand, Reuters said.

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