CoE : Poland - Following the legal opinion of OSCE/ODIHR, the Conference of INGOs reiterates its concern

Following the publication of the legal opinion (n° NGO-POL/303/2017 [AIC]) of OSCE/ODIHR on the draft Act on the National Freedom Institute - Centre for the Development of Civil Society, the Conference of INGOs reiterates its concern in a letter to the Polish authorities

Communique of Ms Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs (20 July 2017)

Letter from Mr Stanczyk, Ambassador of Poland to the Council of Europe following the communique of Ms Rurka (31 July 2017)

Letter from Ms Rurka to Ambassador Stanczyk following the publication of the legal opinion of OSCE/ODIHR (23 August 2017)

Open letter to Polish Bishop Conference

ABOUT PROPOSED CHANGES TO POLAND’S ABORTION LAWS

We, the undersigned, are Catholics who respect the Church’s moral stance against abortion. We are writing to you with a request to engage in dialogue and reflection about the possible consequences of criminalizing abortion in Poland.

We uphold the sanctity of all human life, including the right to life of women and their unborn children. However, we also acknowledge that sometimes women and girls face agonizing decisions about whether or not to continue with a pregnancy that is the consequence of an act of sexual violence; that poses a serious threat to their own health, or that would result in the birth of a profoundly disabled or terminally ill child. While we respect those who decide to continue with such a pregnancy, we do not believe that this decision can be imposed upon them through moral coercion, and far less through the force of law. In our view, the latter constitutes a violation of a woman’s freedom of conscience and personal dignity, and it runs counter to the Catholic tradition’s distinction between morality and legality. The law should not be used to control a person’s moral life, except when that person’s behaviour poses a threat to society.

Tadeusz Mazowiecki

We received with pain the news of the death of the late Tadeusz Mazowiecki , the co-founder of the Warsaw KIK , an honorary member of this Club, a member of the Chapter Award " Pontifical " - builder of bridges , spiritual and intellectual father of the KIK, Prime Minister of the first government after the changes of 1989.