WOMEN
05/10/2016 19:47 BST | Updated 05/10/2016 19:47 BST

23 Moving Photos Of Women Demanding Reproductive Rights In Poland

Women get it done ✊

Pacific Press via Getty Images

Thousands of women went on strike in Poland on Monday to protest the Polish government’s attempt at new legislation that would guarantee a five-year prison sentence for women who have abortions, as well as for the doctors who provide them.

In March, an independent anti-choice group Ordo Iuris proposed the draconian legislation that’s now being pushed by the government’s Law and Justice (PiS) party. It’s an extreme proposition, even for a country that already has incredibly restrictive abortion laws. Abortion in Poland is currently only provided under three circumstances: if there’s danger to the woman who’s carrying the fetus, serious or or irreversible damage to the fetus, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (which must be confirmed by the prosecutor). 

The proposed legislation being pushed by PiS successfully made it through the first round in Polish parliament ― but the protests have resulted in Polish government officials stepping back to reassess the legislation. Poland’s Minister of Science and Higher Education Jaroslaw Gowin said that the protests “caused us to think and taught us humility.”

Women all over Poland went on strike, flocking the streets of Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Lodz and other Polish cities in protest. Women in other European cities protested in solidarity. 

Take a look at 23 incredible photos ― from Warsaw to Krakow and Brussels to Bucharest ― that capture the incredible spirit of women who are fighting for their reproductive rights. 

  • Kommersant Photo via Getty Images
    The streets of Warsaw's Old Town were filled with men and women protesting proposed anti-abortion legislation.
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Women in Krakow marched through the rain to go on strike. 
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Polish men and women march through the streets of Krakow with a banner that says "I'm a subject, not an object."
  • DANIEL MIHAILESCU via Getty Images
    Romanian women protest in solidarity by wearing black in Bucharest. 
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Men and women flock to Castle Square in Warsaw. 
  • Agencja Gazeta / Reuters
    A woman observes thousands of people marching for abortion rights in Warsaw's Old Town.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Women in Sweden protest at Malmo's town hall in solidarity with Polish women. 
  • Kacper Pempel / Reuters
    Men and women protesting on Black Monday in Warsaw.
  • Francois Lenoir / Reuters
    A woman protests with a clothes hanger in Brussels, the capital of the European Union. 
  • Kacper Pempel / Reuters
    Men and women chant in Warsaw during Black Monday protests. 
  • EMMANUEL DUNAND via Getty Images
    Men and women hold a banner that says, "My Body, My Rights" in Brussels to show support for the Black Monday protests. 
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Men and women gather in Warsaw to protest. 
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    A woman in black chants in Krakow. 
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Thousands of people gather in Warsaw's Old Town in the rain.
  • WOJTEK RADWANSKI via Getty Images
    One woman protests in front of Polish parliament wearing her rosary beads. 
  • Pacific Press via Getty Images
    A young woman marches in Warsaw. 
  • Pacific Press via Getty Images
    Another young woman protesting with sign in front of the Polish Parliament in Warsaw.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Men and women chanting in Krakow's main square.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Pro-abortion rights protesters march in the rain on Krakow's Debnicki Bridge en route to the main square. 
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