Polish women strike 'to fight' abortion ruling

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on October 28, 2020 - Duration: 01:59s

Polish women strike 'to fight' abortion ruling

Polish barber Kinga Rutkowska has struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic but for her, protecting women's rights outweighs financial losses, so she closed her shop on Wednesday (October 28) to join a national protest against further abortion restrictions.

This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

Polish women strike 'to fight' abortion ruling

Kinga Rutkowska -- like many others -- has struggled to make ends meet as a barber in Warsaw, Poland but that didn't stop her from closing up shop on Wednesday.

"I feel great today.

I am ready to fight." And joining the thousands of others who have taken to the streets across Poland to protest a court ruling that amounts to near-total ban on abortion in the mostly Catholic country.

"To be honest, financial losses for my shop will be about 1,000 zlotys or about $250 for the day of protest, but I am aware that I have a big influence on what is going to happen next." The 22-year-old closed her shop as part of a nationwide strike on Wednesday, which saw women walk off the job and hit the streets to protest the Constitutional Tribunalโ€™s ruling last Thursday that banned the most common of the few legal grounds for abortion.

Once the ruling goes into effect the procedure will be legal only in the case of rape, incest, or when there is a threat to the woman's health.

Since the decision, Poland has been rocked by huge -- mostly peaceful demonstrations..

And in a rare display of anger against the Roman Catholic Church last Sunday, demonstrators in Warsaw disrupted services and defaced church buildings.

Wednesday's protests saw thousands marching through Warsaw, chanting and carrying signs.

Rutkowska took to the streets in a mask with a red lighting bolt -- the symbol of the protests.

It's the same mask she wears in her shop, where her clients have been divided over the ruling.

"Opinions vary a lot.

Some clients after seeing my post on Facebook asked me why am I closing the shop.

I told them there is a nationwide women's strike and I want to join in solidarity with these women because I think that we have a chance to change something, we have a chance to do something as a group." She says some of them decided to join, though she also says she's lost some clients over her views.

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