The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice was established as a reaction to the offensive of anti-women groups. The draft regulations directly threatening the life and health of women, restricting access to emergency contraception, frightening doctors in their work places, the shocking billboard campaigns, the fight against comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the systemic weakening of the protection of women against domestic violence. These facts call for our active and organized resistance. The need of a unified voice of women is today a matter of course.
The Coalition consists of over eighty organizations and groups from all over Poland. We draw our strength from the two-hundred-years old tradition of female political and civic activities that the Coalition proudly joins. We have a capital of knowledge, practical NGO experience, and finally – the social energy of the pro-women’s rights protests of 2016 and 2017.
Following last October’s Black Protest and as part of the International Women’s Strike in over 80 Polish cities women took to the streets to protest against violating their rights.
Polish women demanded among others: access to safe and legal abortion, free modern contraception including over-the-counter emergency contraception, and to the newest generation of prenatal testing, state-subsidized in vitro fertilization, and maintenance of the postnatal care standards.
Today on 34th session of the Human Rights Council Federation for Women and Family Planning, in collaboration with Sexual Rights Initiative, provided a statement on the on the Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.
Read Krystyna Kacpura's, director of Federation for Women and Family Planning, statement here.
English translation of the Federation's annual report for 2016 is available online here.
The Polish government wants to restrict access to emergency contraception. A governmental draft law approved on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 states that hormonal contraceptives will be available on prescription only, should the draft bill be discussed and adopted by the parliament. Since 2015, based on a decision of the European Commission, the morning-after pill ellaOne has been available over the counter all over the country.
Research conducted by Millward Brown among pharmacists shows that 84 per cent of the ellaOne buyers constitute people aged 18-35. Only 2 per cent are those under 18.
The draft banning OTC sale of ellaOne is being pushed through against the will of the majority of Poles. Research conducted in December 2015 by TNS Polska shows that the majority of respondents (53 per cent) supports free access to emergency contraception for adults.
The social support for emergency contraception is also confirmed by the results of a survey conducted by a pharmaceutical website. Among 2,254 Polish women, over 80 per cent voted in favor of OTC availability of the morning-after pill.
In an opinion on the issue that the Federation for Women and Family Planning sent to the prime minister and parliament, the organization strongly condemned the change of sale status of ellaOne, calling it an attack on women’s reproductive rights.