Published on 25th July 2019 by

Why is abortion in Poland still forbidden? In this episode, Dore digs into the debate about abortion in Poland. Abortion is in Poland, a hot issue with strong supporters and opponents. The reality is: abortion is in Poland forbidden. However, there are three exceptions to the rule: When you become pregnant through incest or rape, when your own life is in danger or when the fetus is deformed. Otherwise, you are dependent on a trip to a country where this is legal, or you will have a child that you didn’t want to have. In the 60s and 70s, it was the other way around. Then women from different countries came to Poland because it was possible to have an abortion. Why has this changed?

A quarter of a million Poles live in the Netherlands. Dutch-Polish journalist Dore van Duivenbode is one of them. In this series, she travels back to her motherland, where she visits her family house near Oświęcim, former Auschwitz. In Bialowieza, in eastern Poland, she tries to find out why a forest is causing much tension. In Warsaw, she gets deeper into the hot topic of abortion. Here strong supporters and opponents are giving their perspective. Her travels bring her also to North Poland, where she meets a low-income family and talks with the famous and notorious opposition judge Igor Tuleya. A travel series about Poland, a country that is more and more divided and cursed by its geography location.

In Poland, there is no sex education in schools, but ‘preparation for family life.’ These lessons are according to the teachings of Polish Pope John Paul II and are often given by priests or other representatives of the Catholic Church. In these lessons, the emphasis is on male-female distributions within the family. Contraceptives and their use are hardly ever discussed – the condom is still sometimes referred to, but often as something negative.

The Ministry of Education is putting Polish schools under pressure to ban non-governmental groups in the classroom. However, the Polish model Anja Rubik doesn’t care: she shows cartoons of genitals in fourteen videos (uploaded in October 2017) and discusses themes such as gay rights, masturbation, and STDs.

She also published the book #sexedpl, intending to educate young Polish people about sex and in response to the information provided by the schools. Her videos have been viewed more than ten million times, and her book has been sold 130 thousand times. Rubik has also been so cheeky to send a thousand copies to high schools, where they were not well received.

Original title: Verboden vrucht (3/5)

© VPRO March 2019

Presentation: Dore van Duivenbode
Director: Britta Bosman
Production: Elleke Claessen
Camera: Jacko van t´Hof, Maarten Kramer, Pim Hawinkels
Sound: Dennis Kersten
Sound Mix: Joost Oskamp
Edit: Paul Delput
Research: Anna Stylinska, Michiel Driebergen
Music: Kaveh Vares
Commissioning Editor: Henneke Hagen

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