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Some 5,000 People Take Part in Annual Feminist Demonstration in Warsaw

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the mediabankThe Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw
The Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw - Sputnik International
About 5,000 people took to the streets of the Polish capital of Warsaw on Sunday to participate in the annual feminist demonstration Manifa held ahead of International Women's Day.

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WARSAW (Sputnik) — The march started at 2 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT) near the Palace of Culture and Science in the city center. The participants held national and EU flags and banners that read "my body is my choice," "who and why decides for women?" among others.

This year's theme was abuse of power and "reproductive exploitation," which drew attention to Polish government's aspirations to tighten abortion legislation.

"We are protesting against all kinds of abuse: institutional, systematic, economic, physical, sexual, mental, symbolic, against inaction and passivity where help and support are needed," the rally organizers said.

​A counter-protest of the ProLife movement was also held along the route of the march. The activists rallied against abortions and held banners depicting aborted fetuses.

Women hold placards as they take part in an abortion rights campaigners' demonstration Black Protest in front of the Parliament in Warsaw, Poland October 1, 2016. The placards read: I want to have a choice! - Sputnik International
People Power in Poland Beats Parliament Over Proposed Abortion Law
In late September, the Polish parliament voted to consider a controversial government bill to completely outlaw abortions in the country. The anti-abortion bill made it to parliament after a citizens' initiative, launched by the Stop Abortion group, gathered some 450,000 signatures. The petition called on Polish lawmakers to tighten already strict anti-abortion laws, outlawing terminated pregnancies even in cases of rape or incest.

Poland's current laws restrict abortions to cases of rape or incest-induced pregnancies, as well as in cases of severe health risks posed to the mother or fetus.

About 100,000 people protested against the plans, with the parliament finally rejecting the bill in October. Yet ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) Chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski has stated that the party still aims to pursue its anti-abortion agenda.

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