PM Tusk – ruling PO cannot take part in abortion war
October 12, 2012
Breaking the hard-fought compromise on the law on abortion exposes Poles to “abortion war”, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said yesterday after a 40-strong faction of his party supported, against the caucus recommendation, continuation of works on the right-wing opposition Solidary Poland (SP) draft amendment banning abortion in the case of severe handicap of the fetus.
The ruling Civic Platform (PO) party’s participation in violation of this compromise is absolutely out of question, Tusk said adding that if MPs are of a different opinion they may express it during Friday’s vote of confidence for the government. [PM will ask the Parliament to grant him a vote of confidence during his today address or “second expose”].
On Wednesday Polish MPs, including 40 MPs of PO and 19 MPs of the junior coalition Polish People’s Party (PSL), voted in favor of further tightening of the already restrictive abortion law. Tusk talked about it with PO MPs during PO parliamentary caucus meeting on Thursday.
“ I told them very clearly that I consider it a mistake in every respect,” Tusk told reporters after the meeting. “It is absolutely unacceptable,” he added.
According to Tusk the compromise on abortion law has brought good effects. That is why, he said, he expects that PO MPS will correct this obvious mistake as soon as possible.
Under the current law, drafted back in 1993, abortion is prohibited in nearly all circumstances except when pregnancy is due to rape, pregnancy endangers the life of the mother or if there is a high probability of serious and irreversible damage to a fetus. SP however, proposes abolishing the last of these exceptions, which it has branded “eugenic abortions”.
PO leader and PM Donald Tusk has allowed the conservative wing at PO, headed by Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, to gather too much strength, according to one of the PO leaders. Voices are raised on the liberal wing that PO should start to seek cooperation with the left-wing SLD, but such an alliance might lead to a split, with the Gowin wing leaving PO. The conservatives claim they have no intention of polarizing the party but voted according to conscience.
Gowin denied rumors that PO faces a split over abortion law, Gowin said, adding that the compromise on the issue reached 20 years ago should be maintained.