The church is very influential in the majority Catholic country, and has deep ties with the ruling right-wing government. When Szydlo said she supported the ban [link in Polish], she said “the reasonable voice of the Polish Bishops’ Conference will be necessary to have a substantive discussion. It’s important that we hear from experts, [moral] authorities.”

Following the weekend’s protests, Szydlo back-tracked somewhat on her comments [link in Polish], saying that the abortion ban is “not an issue in Poland,” because the proposal was not yet a bill. Even though she voiced her support for the ban on public radio, she said “I was speaking in a personal capacity, and I emphasized that these were my personal opinions.”

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