Polish abortion protests go global

Thousands of protesters in cities around the world have gathered over the past days in support of Poles who have taken to the streets after a court ruling further limited the country's restrictive abortion laws.

In the week since the Constitutional Tribunal announced the ruling, those expressing solidarity with Polish protesters in Oslo, London, Chicago, Glasgow, Brussels and elsewhere have gathered in front of Polish Embassies and in their city centres.

After the ruling goes into effect, abortion will be banned in the case of foetal abnormalities. It will be legal only in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the woman's health.

In Poland, tens of thousands have taken to the streets in cities and towns across the country since the ruling was announced on Oct. 22.

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SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB A demonstrator holds a flare as she stands on top of a car during a protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Warsaw, Poland October 26, 2020. Jedrzej Nowicki/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
A woman carries a placard reading "Women's Strike" as police block a road during a protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, in Wroclaw, Poland October 23, 2020. Krzysztof Cwik/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police block a street near the house of Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski during a protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law in Warsaw, Poland October 23, 2020. Jedrzej Nowicki/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Women take part in a rally marking the first anniversary of the 'Black Protest' against plans of changing the abortion law in Lublin, Poland October 3, 2017. Agencja Gazeta/Jakub Orzechowski via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A woman takes part in a protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Gdansk, Poland October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Jadwiga Figula
Women hold a demonstration outside the Polish embassy in solidarity with protesters in Poland who are demonstrating against a court ruling that further limits the country's highly restrictive abortion law, in Rome, Italy, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Women hold a demonstration outside the Polish embassy in solidarity with protesters in Poland who are demonstrating against a court ruling that further limits the country's highly restrictive abortion law, in Rome, Italy, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
A woman takes part in a protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion in Warsaw, Poland October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB People take part in a protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion in Warsaw, Poland October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
A demonstrator speaks through a megaphone as people protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in front of the Parliament in Warsaw, Poland October 27, 2020. Maciek Jazwiecki/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
People protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Lodz, Poland October 27, 2020. Tomasz Stanczak/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
A demonstrator holds a flare during a protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Wroclaw, Poland October 26, 2020. Picture taken October 26, 2020. Tomasz Pietrzyk/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
Demonstrators block a street during a protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Warsaw, Poland October 26, 2020. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
People protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Warsaw, Poland October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
A man lies on tram tracks as people protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Warsaw, Poland October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB People protest against the ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, in Warsaw, Poland October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB People attend a rally in support of Polish demonstrators protesting against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, outside the Polish embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Police officers detain a Femen activist as she stages an action in support of Polish demonstrators protesting against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, in front of the Polish embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB People attend a rally in support of Polish demonstrators protesting against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, outside the Polish embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Demonstrators hold signs during protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law in Gdansk, Poland October 24, 2020. Back sign reads, "My body, my choice". REUTERS/Peter Pawlowski
A woman holds a sign during a protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law in Gdansk, Poland October 24, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Pawlowski
People protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law in Krakow, Poland October 23, 2020. Jakub Wlodek/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
Demonstrators march along a street as they protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, in Warsaw, Poland October 23, 2020. Jedrzej Nowicki/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
Demonstrators scuffle with police officers during a protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, near the Archbishop's Palace in Poznan, Poland October 23, 2020. Piotr Skornicki/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
Demonstrators scuffle with police officers during a protest against imposing further restrictions on abortion law, in Wroclaw, Poland October 23, 2020. Krzysztof Cwik/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
29 October 2020, Berlin: A woman holds a poster in front of the Brandenburg Gate saying "PiS if you are so-called "pro-life" why don't you have mercy on war refugees? (PiS if you are "for life" why don't you have mercy on refugees?). Demonstrators protested here against a tightening of the abortion ban in Poland. Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa (Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Pro-Choice activists seen in Krakow's Market Square during a demonstration. Women's rights activists and their supporters staged their seventh day of protests in Krakow and all over Poland, opposing pandemic restraint, to express their anger at the ruling of Polish Supreme Court, which tightened the already strict abortion laws. On October 28, 2020, in Krakow, Poland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Demonstrators have blamed the nationalist government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the Roman Catholic Church, which has close ties to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, for the court verdict.

The international gatherings have varied in size, with tens coming together in front of the Polish Embassy in Rome, hundreds in Oslo and more than a thousand in Stockholm on Wednesday.

"It wasn't about whether someone had an abortion or not, but about people all over the world having a choice," said Justyna Bober, 32, who helped organize the protest in Stockholm.

The protesters chanted "Revolution is a woman" and projected "Polish women on strike" in white and red lights onto the side of a building, photos posted on Facebook showed.

Hundreds protested in London on Monday, with video footage shared on Facebook showing car and bus drivers honking horns in support of those gathered.

Protesters in Vienna on Tuesday carried posters reading "Poland won't die as long as we keep fighting together," according to photos published on Twitter.

A mass protest in Warsaw is scheduled for Friday.

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