Thousands in Poland Protested New Restrictions on Abortion

55,000 people took to the streets of Warsaw to demonstrate against the right-wing government's newest attempt to make it almost impossible for women to legally end a pregnancy.

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26 March 2018, 2:17pm

This article originally appeared on VICE Poland

This weekend, people across Poland gathered in a mass protest to try to stop the government's renewed plans to further tighten abortion laws. The demonstration – which was the largest the country has seen – took place in Warsaw on Friday, where an estimated 55,000 people marched from the main parliament building to the headquarters of the ruling conservative Christian democratic party, the Law and Justice party (PiS).

It's already incredibly hard for Polish women to get abortions. Currently, the only legal exception is when the mother or foetus's health are in grave danger, or in cases of rape and incest. In 2016, the Polish parliament tried introducing a near-total ban on abortions, which included the prospect of up to five years in prison for any woman terminating a pregnancy. Similar protests across the country and a nationwide women's strike helped to stop that law. This new "stop abortion" bill doesn't go as far as the proposal from 2016, but it would ban the procedure for instances where the foetus is severely disabled.

Photographer Mikolaj Maluchnik documented Friday's protest in Warsaw.

Scroll down to see more photos.

"No Woman, No Country".
A security guard hired by the organisers to keep the press at bay and the march going.
"Go play with your own organ".
"Pray for the women".
"My uterus, my choice".
"Our female martyrs must be crying now."
The sign on the the right reads, "Abortions should be legal, free and safe".
"Women's right over foetuses' rights!"
The sign on the right reads, "Girls for Girls", advertising the country's largest feminist movement.