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Limiting Access to Contraception

News author: Magda Pochec, POLISH REPRO NEWS, 9 (19) /06
Source of news: Federation for Women and Family Planning, November 2006
Link to source:  URL: » Link
2006-11-17 11:34:35 / News read 3478 reading
The political initiative to totally ban abortion in Poland is now followed by the debate on contraception. Members of the Parliamentarian Committee for Family and Women’s Rights (CFWR) are developing National Programme for Family Support (NPFS) that is due to be implemented in 2007.

A proposal submitted by ruling political parties – Law and Justice (PiS) in coalition with the League of Polish Families (LPR) – incorporates the limitation on access to contraception into the aforementioned NPFS.

The parliamentarians claim that Polish family is endangered, because the rate of births decrease every year. Thus they plan to restrict access to contraceptives, which stays in stark contrast with NGOs efforts to make contraceptives more accessible.Members of the CFWR argue that hormonal pills cause infertility so the access to it has to be further restricted, although women in Poland can get oral contraceptives only on prescription. Moreover, pills are not subsidized from the state budget, which creates economic barrier for many Polish women.

One of the priorities of the NPFS is to develop strategy to prevent women from using hormonal pills. Firstly, parliamentarians propose to organize a social campaign to convey a message of negative aspects of hormonal pills. There is also a proposal to mark oral contraceptives with the note “harms your health”, as it is with cigarettes. Moreover, there is a political will to put pressure on doctors to limit prescriptions on pills by referring to the side effects that women might experience.

Besides, some members of the CFWR recommend even restricting access to condoms, claiming that condom use causes women’s infertility.

Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning strongly opposes legal limitation of access to contraception – This will only increase a number of unsafe abortions in the underground – said Wanda Nowicka, president of the Federation.

Magda Pochec
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