In October 2020, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal (CT) ruled that in cases where there are indications of irreversible impairments of a foetus or incurable life-threatening diseases, abortions violate the Polish Constitution. Despite the fact that it was issued during the second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Poland, this judgement caused numerous protests. The current study sought to ascertain Poles’ opinions regarding the CT’s judgement, and the ensuing threat to public health presented by the protests against it.
Material and methods
An online survey was conducted on a quota sample of adult Poles (N = 1072). The sample reflected the population structure of Poland.
Only 15.5% of the people surveyed agreed that the CT’s judgement was correct. Logistic regression analysis showed that support for the CT’s ruling could be predicted by male gender, more frequent participation in religious practices, and the presence of a greater number of children in household. The majority of people (65.1%) considered protests to be necessary despite the ongoing pandemic. Cluster analysis distinguished between two groups of people, which were labelled “moderate liberals” (43.9%) and “moderate conservatives” (56.1%). There were no extreme groups – neither one that supported the CT’s judgement and condemned the protesters, nor one that supported protesters unconditionally and disagreed with the judgement.
Undoubtedly, there is no consensus among Poles on the issue of abortion, but the CT’s judgement, resulted in a high level of agreement between people with different views.