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Poland set to scrap plans to ban abortion after outcry

A pro-choice protester at a rally against the draft abortion law Credit: Reuters

Poland's government has indicated that it will scrap a highly controversial draft law that would have banned all abortions after an international outcry.

Tens of thousands had rallied against the proposed law which would make the procedure illegal even in cases where the fetus was not expected to survive or the mother's life was in danger.

Science and higher education minister Jaroslaw Gowin said the demonstrations had "caused us to think and taught us humility" in an apparent indication that the government was pulling back from a total ban.

Poland already has tight restrictions on abortion, which is only allowed in cases of rape, incest, badly damaged fetuses or if the mother's life is at risk.

It also allows doctors to refuse to carry out abortions if they have moral objections.


Poland: Britain should not be forced out of EU hastily

Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski. Credit: Reuters

Britain should not be forced out the EU as quickly as possible, Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski has said.

"We need a longer reflection," Mr Waszczykowski told Polish state television TVP Info.

"This cannot be [a] hasty action, this cannot consist of forcing Britain out and as fast as possible."

Mr Waszczykowski said more should have been done to keep Britain in the bloc, adding that EU officials were partly responsible for Britain's vote to leave.

On Friday, Poland said the EU needed a new treaty to increase the role of sovereign nations and preserve the bloc's unity following the result of Britain's EU referendum.


Polish president concedes election in shock defeat

Andrzej Duda of the Law and Justice Party Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, has stepped down after an exit poll showed him losing to his conservative rival, Andrzej Duda by six points in Sunday's election.

Komorowski had originally been favourite to retain the position, but his defeat has reflected a desire among voters for new faces, and a sense that Poland's new-found prosperity was not being shared out equally.

43-year-old Duda's win is the first in nearly a decade for the Law and Justice party, which is socially conservative and close to the Catholic Church, but less friendly to business than the incumbent Civic Platform Party.

"I respect your choice," Komorowski told a gathering of supporters. "I wish my challenger a successful presidency."

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