The steady erasure of 'women' in the pro-abortion movement

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The latest report by Amnesty International marks Poland's one year constitutional ruling allowing abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is under threat.

If Amnesty's report is to be believed, the ban has created a hostile and dangerous environment that has fatally undermined the rights of "pregnant people" and caused incalculable harm.

The report goes on to explain that women, girls and "all pregnant people" now face extreme barriers to accessing their right to reproductive healthcare. In support of its position, it cites claims from the group Abortion Without Borders, which also helps pregnant "people" procure abortion in European countries where it is currently illegal or highly restricted.

The group states that in the first six months following the ban, it was contacted by 17,000 women in Poland, asking for help. It further claims that it continues to receive around 800 similar calls a month.

Before one reacts with horror at the seeming injustice being done to "pregnant people", a little bit of background is perhaps instructive. First, Amnesty International is a well-known left-wing human rights organization based in London and campaigning, it says, against injustice and equality everywhere. It sees abortion as one such "injustice".

On the page dedicated to abortion on its website, Amnesty states unequivocally that abortion is crucial to the healthcare of "millions of women, girls and others who can become pregnant". As evidence, it cites data showing that one in four estimated pregnancies end in abortion each year, which serves to confirm, it says, the need for maintaining worldwide the rights of all who can become pregnant to safe and legal abortion. From which it follows that governments which restrict abortion are not just putting women, and 'people who can become pregnant' at risk, but are illegitimately infringing their absolute human right to decide whether or not they want to carry their unborn child to term.

There is so much here that appears wrong and like wilful distortion that it is hard to know where to begin. First, any rights belonging to the unborn child are dismissed as irrelevant – indeed, so trivial as to be beneath consideration. But second, Amnesty's approach to women is similarly cavalier. It refers repeatedly to "women and others who can become pregnant". But it is, of course, a biological impossibility for anyone other than a woman or girl to become pregnant. An individual may, with reassignment treatment, seek to change their supposed gender, but they can never change their biological sex. A trans woman can never, therefore, conceive, and though a trans man, while still retaining ovaries and a womb may become pregnant and have a baby, for these purposes that individual remains a woman. To hold anything else is demeaning to natural-born women.

Amnesty, however, has no inhibitions in misrepresenting and even dismissing biological truth. For them the ideological imperative of promoting LGBTIQ+ rights is clearly paramount, as borne out by their assertion in the same report that "extreme restrictions on abortion are part of a broader assault by Poland's government on human rights, including women's rights and LGBTI rights, and the rule of law". We should then be wary of whatever Amnesty says, because they are self-evidently ideologically motivated and committed to cultural realignment, promoting so-called 'inclusivity' and 'diversity' over everything else.

Which brings us to Poland. As of Friday 22 October, Poland's population stood at 37,792,548. In 1960, the number was 29,614,201, which was a decline from 35,100,000 in 1939. What this shows is that, demographically, Poland over the last century – subjected at various times to invasion, occupation and partition ⎼ has faced serious population problems, so much so that it has officially been designated a 'very low-fertility country'.

The situation has been exacerbated by its abortion policy, which until the 1990s allowed women free access to abortion on demand. Over the last decade Poland has been trying urgently to address the problems, putting in place financial and tax measures to strengthen marriage and the family, and encouraging couples to have children. But in this they have been only partially successful, and Poland's fertility replacement level currently stands at 1.44 children per woman, significantly below the minimum replacement level of 2.1 children needed to sustain the population.

Added to this, however, should be borne in mind that, though Poland is officially a secular country, 86% of the population is strongly Roman Catholic, meaning that the majority are conservative and uphold traditional Christian values. In line with this, the current President, Andrzej Duda, has described the LGBT movement as a "foreign ideology" aimed at indoctrinating the nation in ways similar to those experienced under Communism.

Given the hate-filled rhetoric of some Western media outlets – which have been united in condemning Poland's preference for re-aligning the country with traditional values – one can feel a certain sympathy with this view. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that what we are seeing constitutes, at base, an overt and concentrated attack by secular liberalists on the Christian faith.

Whatever Amnesty and others maintain, it is not a woman's 'human right' to end the life of her unborn child – the child indeed has rights too, which should be protected. And airbrushing 'women' out of gendered existence by subordinating them within a broader group of "pregnant people" is both morally repugnant and insulting. Instead of attacking Poland, therefore, Western powers would do well to emulate the country's attempts to stem demographic decline before it becomes too late.

Rev Lynda Rose is founder of Voice for Justice UK, a group which works to uphold the moral values of the Bible in society.