A prosecutor’s office in Warsaw launched an investigation into recent abortion protests in the country, with the inquiry to focus on whether the demonstrators insulted Catholics and posed a threat to public health.
Since late October, Poland has witnessed numerous street protests against a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal that abortions carried out due to irreversible congenital defects – covering a wide range of conditions from Down’s syndrome to fatal illnesses – were illegal under the constitution.
The ruling would effectively introduce a ban on abortion, though it still has not been published in the country’s Journal of Laws.
While the demonstrations have lost momentum and are less frequent of late, at the end of October they had mobilized tens of thousands to march in protests across Polish cities.
Some of the ire of the demonstrators were directed at the Catholic Church, which traditionally opposes abortion.
In the early stages of the protests, instances of disrupting church services or spray-painting slogans and a number of an abortion hotline on church buildings were recorded.
Now the Warsaw regional prosecutor’s office will investigate whether demonstrators have insulted Catholics and inquire into whether the main organizer of the protests has publicly condoned illegal actions, the office’s spokesperson Aleksandra Skrzyniarz said on Thursday as cited by PAP agency.
The prosecutors will also look into whether demonstrations threatened public health safety through holding the demonstrations amid a pandemic, the official said.
The prosecutor’s investigation was launched upon complaints from, among others, pro-life organizations.
Poland’s Prosecutor General and Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro has repeatedly voiced his criticism towards the organizers of the protests.