This article originally appeared on VICE Poland.
Thousands protested in front of the Poland's parliament on Thursday night against a near-total ban on abortion, while inside the building, members debated on three draft laws. The pro-choice coalition Save Women and the left-wing political party Razem organized the demonstration. A smaller counter-demonstration also occurred at the same place, at the same time. A police cordon separated the two groups.
Two of the drafts discussed in parliament on Thursday had been enrolled by citizen's initiatives. The first one was a result of the "stop abortion" campaign, calling for a complete ban on all abortions, and the persecution of anyone who performs them or whose actions can lead to the termination of a pregnancy. The petition landed in parliament with more than 400,000 signatures. On the other hand, a Save Women petition that called for Polish women to have the right to abort a pregnancy that has not surpassed its 12th week only managed to gain 200,000 signatures.
The third draft law was only the initiative of a small group of MPs, and it called for significant constrictions on the practice of in vitro fertilization in Poland, which could make it almost impossible for infertile couples to conceive.
On Friday morning, Polish lawmakers voted in favor of the abortion ban and IVF constrictions. The Save Women campaign was dismissed. A new protest against the abortion ban has been planned for October 1.