KRAKOW, POLAND - APRIL 15: Pro-abortion activists wear protective masks and hold banners as they take part in a protest in front of a Biedronka supermarket at Krakow's Unesco Main Square during the government announced lockdown to tackle the coronavirus spread on April 15, 2020 in Krakow, Poland. The Law and Justice Party (ruling party) speaker has added to this week's parliamentary agenda legislative proposals that could end legal abortions in the country and criminalize sex education. (Photo by Omar Marques/Getty Images)

Polish Prochoice Activists Protest Abortion Ban in Defiance of Coronavirus Lockdown

AS POLAND’S PARLIAMENT pursued a controversial proposal to tighten what are already among the strictest abortion laws in Europe, dozens of women in cars and on bicycles protested in central Warsaw, honking horns and displaying posters against the law. Although public gatherings are banned, videos show people in the streets of Warsaw and Poznan following recom- mended social distancing and holding placards.

Activists feared that conservative politicians could take advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to prevent opponents from organizing large street protests as they did in 2016, when huge street protests caused the government to withdraw anti-abortion proposals.

There have also been protests online, and people are hanging flags in their windows. An online petition opposing the bills has gained more than 700,000 signatures, and people are sharing videos using #ProtestAtHome. Several opposition MPs joined, posting pictures on Twitter.

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