What is the purpose of Poland's "pregnancy register"?

 What is the purpose of Poland's "pregnancy register?

After the conservative government of Poland disclosed intentions to establish a purported "pregnancy register," worries have increased.

Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bk, an opposition member, commented, "A pregnancy registry in a country with an almost full ban on abortion is alarming," echoing growing concerns that authorities are aiming to keep pregnant Polish women under surveillance and tighten restrictions on abortions.

Adam Niedzielski, the country's minister of health, signed a directive on Monday expanding the categories of data that should be included into the national health database, including blood types, allergies, and pregnancies.

The record is only intended to improve patient medical care, according to Poland's Health Ministry, which also claims that only doctors and other medical professionals would have access to it.

Following objections, the reform's proposal to report pregnant women who are spotted drinking or smoking was dropped, according to Euronews.

Activists, however, are not persuaded and believe it to be the PiS-led administration's newest attempt to significantly restrict Polish women's access to abortions.

It is "another savage attack on Poland's sexual and reproductive rights" that "may be used to identify abortions," according to human rights expert Annika Ojala.

Keeping Polish expectant mothers under observation?

Polish women worry that now that abortions are almost entirely prohibited, the government will be able to monitor their pregnancies and identify those whose pregnancies terminated early, whether through miscarriage, the use of abortion pills, or an overseas termination.

Marta Lempart, a prominent advocate for women's rights in the nation, voiced worry that the registry's data would eventually be given to law enforcement and prosecutors.

Lempart, the head of the local NGO Women's Strike, claimed that the measures will disproportionately harm poorer women while making it easier for wealthy women to seek private care outside of the public health system or to end their pregnancies abroad.

One of the harshest abortion regulations in Europe has long been in place in Poland. The great majority of legal abortions were essentially outlawed in 2020 when the Constitutional Court determined that abortion in cases of foetus abnormalities was illegal.

Only in circumstances of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger can women today choose to end their pregnancies.

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