Police detains 20 after abortion law protest in Warsaw

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Police on Thursday reported that they have detained 20 people in Warsaw, a day after the protest against an attempt to tighten the country’s abortion law.

Warsaw police spokesman Sylwester Marczak said of those detained on Wednesday, 13 were apprehended for committing criminal offences such as assaulting police officers.

He added that the protest had been illegal in the light of the coronavirus containment restrictions and had not had a peaceful character.

Marczak said the protest, organised by the Nationwide Women’s Strike plans to mount a blockade at the parliament building but that the parliament was cordoned off by police forces.

The spokesman said the crowd started marching through central Warsaw and eventually staged a protest in front of a building housing the public broadcaster TVP.

Warsaw police wrote on social media that tear gas was used in response to aggressive behaviour towards police officers.

Earlier in October, a ruling from the Constitutional Tribunal stated that abortions carried out due to irreversible congenital defects were illegal.

It stated that defects covering a wide range of conditions from Down’s syndrome to fatal illnesses were illegal under the constitution.

But the court ruling is yet to be published in Poland’s Journal of Laws, which is a necessary step for the ruling to fully take effect.

The ruling would consequently, ban nearly all abortions in the country.

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