Tens of thousands of people took to Poland’s streets in a nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest a court decision banning nearly all abortions. Now in their sixth day, the protests drew thousands of women, joined by numerous men, who abandoned their offices in dozens of cities, including Warsaw, above.
The ruling, made by a top court last week, stopped pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type of abortion currently performed in the country. The protests have turned into a broader expression of anger at a right-wing government that opponents accuse of hijacking the judiciary and chipping away at the rights of women and minorities.
Official response: The leader of the governing party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, accused demonstrators of seeking the destruction of the nation and appealed to supporters to “defend churches,” a handful of which have been vandalized by protesters.