WARSAW, Poland — A new regulation that came into force in Poland Saturday requiring pregnancy information to be uploaded to the national digital system has raised concerns among women’s organizations that it could be another means for the conservative government to control women’s lives.
Women’s groups suggest the Health Ministry regulation would enable authorities to monitor pregnancies as another means of control in the country with a very strict anti-abortion law.
The ministry had denied this, saying the regulation stems from European Union directives and will help doctors treat patients by providing them with vital information quickly.
“In today’s Poland every change relating to reproduction, and especially when it calls for collecting of sensitive personal information, is met with suspicion of bad intentions,” says Krystyna Kacpura, head of the FEDERA, Foundation for Women and Family Planning.
FEDERA has called on women to remain calm but stay vigilant about the regulation that’s popularly referred to as “pregnancy register.”
Under Poland’s right-wing government, abortion is allowed in only if the pregnancy threatens the woman’s health or results from crime like rape or incest. Women are not penalized for abortions, only those performing or assisting in them.
A provision allowing abortion of fetuses with genetic defects was pronounced unconstitutional by a top court, the Constitutional Tribunal, whose rulings often fall in line with the ruling party’s views.