Taboos and Solidarity: Speaking up for choice in Poland

Thank you for publishing ‘Poles Refuse to Put a Good Face on a Bad Game’ by Krystyna Kacpura and Anka Grzywacz. I grew up in Polish immigrant communities in Canada and the United States. Abortion was taboo and not open to discussion—the assumption being that if you were Polish you had to be antichoice. Which is why I was proud to join Catholics for Choice for a solidarity protest at the Polish Embassy in [Washington,] DC, in May. Having such a large number of Polish men and women stand up for access to abortion care this past year was exhilarating and validating. It was the first time I felt my conviction that abortion care must be safe and dignified was not antithetical to my identity as a Polish, Catholic woman. I felt a deep sense of solidarity in a way that I had been led to believe was impossible.

We cannot let antiabortion rhetoric control the abortion narrative anywhere—whether it’s coming from the Catholic Church or antichoice legislators. We must continue to affirm that abortion must be safe and accessible to all, regardless of economic status, religion or location. I look forward to working side by side with fellow advocates here and in Poland as we stand up for our shared values.

AGATA PELKA
Staff Attorney, National Health Law Program
Washington, D.C.

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