(17 April 2020) EPSU calls for the rejection of the proposed bills currently being discussed in Poland, that would put women’s lives at risk by limiting their rights and freedom.
Public health services are, and must be, a safe place where every woman, regardless of age, status, origin, race, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation…, can receive necessary treatment. Sexual and reproductive rights services must be a part of public health systems. However, as found in a recent internal survey of EPSU affiliates, women’s rights cannot be taken for granted and genuine equality remains an objective, not a reality. Family planning and sexual and reproductive health services have often been the target of cuts, because women’s bodies continue to be seen as a political battleground. EPSU also strongly opposes the bill that would criminalise educating children about sexuality, and condemns the continuing attacks on the LGTB+ community.
We support the women of Poland, and stand by their side in protesting these bills, just as we did during the previous attempt to attack women’s rights in 2016. We denounce the decision of the Government to abuse the emergency laws, proposing these bills while people cannot take the streets and protest against them.
EPSU and its affiliated unions have fought continuously alongside women for the full realisation of their rights. We campaigned in Ireland and in the UK to give Irish women the chance to have safe and legal abortions, we fought extremists and radical movements in Spain and prevented a negative amendment to the law. We might not be able to take the streets in Poland, but we will not be silent.
The EPSU Congress has made it loud and clear, and we reiterate it now: “gender equality will not be achieved until women have gained the right to be in charge of their own bodies”.
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