The EU must defend itself against the attack on women’s rights in one of its member nations

Last week’s flawed ruling by a constitutional tribunal in Warsaw drastically restricting the right to abortion is a grim reminder that women’s rights and, more broadly, the rule of law are under serious threat in Poland. This oppressive decision is part of a slide towards authoritarianism that began in earnest after the rightwing populist Law and Justice party (PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński won an absolute majority in 2015. It must not be allowed to continue.

Halting this deterioration is, first, a matter for the people of Poland. Although this predominantly Catholic, socially conservative country already has some of the strictest abortion prohibitions in Europe, surveys suggest that only a small minority supports additional curbs. Not for the first time, Kaczyński and PiS are deliberately ignoring the democratic consensus to advance a narrow ideological and religious agenda.

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