My question is whether everyone is capable of heroism and whether women must be forced into heroism. I have doubts here, said First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, referring to the Constitutional Court’s decision on abortion. President Andrzej Duda emphasized that “the freedom of choice of a woman must be preserved” and declared that he would engage in work on creating a solution that would restore social peace.
On October 22, the Constitutional Tribunal headed by Julia Przyłębska decided that It is unconstitutional to have the right to abortion in the event of severe and irreversible fetal impairment.
For a week now, there have been protests of people opposing such a ruling by the Tribunal on the streets of many Polish cities and towns.
First Lady: I doubt women need to be coerced into heroism
President Andrzej Duda was a guest of Polsat News on Wednesday evening. First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda also took the floor during the interview. – I cannot imagine that I would be able to terminate a pregnancy, even a threatened pregnancy, but it results from my beliefs, it also results from my faith, but also from the awareness that in this unimaginably difficult situation I would not be left alone and I would have the support of my family – she said.
She added that “in the last five years she has met many women who, despite the fact that they had the right to terminate the pregnancy, are actually raising seriously handicapped children.” – I also met women who, while pregnant, found out that their children would die right after giving birth. I have great, enormous respect for these women and consider them heroes, ”the First Lady emphasized.
– I don’t know if they consider themselves heroines. I think they just approach it like any other mother – they love their children immeasurably. My question is whether everyone is capable of heroism and whether women must be forced into heroism. I have doubts here – she admitted.
She expressed her concern about the form of the ongoing protests. – You cannot accept acts of aggression, desecration of churches, insulting people, vulgar words – she said.
Duda: I understand women who protest
The president was asked in Polsat News what he thought about the protesting women
– I am very saddened by this situation. Women who protest, I understand, I feel this situation. Although everyone knows my views and knows that I am against eugenic abortion, replied Duda.
As he said, in the first moment after the ruling by the Tribunal, he was satisfied with this ruling. – Nevertheless, I expected that the Constitutional Tribunal would leave time for the provisions in this respect to be clarified – he said.
Duda: I am ready to get involved in working on a solution that will restore social peace
The president declared that he was ready to get involved in work on a solution that would restore social peace. – During the previous term in the National Development Council, I met experts who would certainly be able to help in the work and I am ready to ask them for it. I am ready to engage in this work in order to create a solution that will bring social peace and that will be truly recognized as thinking about women’s health and rights in the proper sense – he said.
According to him, however, it should be remembered that the fetal lethality, which causes death immediately after birth, “is a very special situation”. – If we now look at a woman who is in such a pregnancy, it must be clearly stated that her situation is absolutely dramatic and the lack of understanding for this situation is something that I also absolutely cannot cope with. I believe that this element must be included here, and so far it has not been – said Andrzej Duda.
Duda: a woman’s freedom of choice must be preserved
The president was also asked if, like his daughter Kinga, “she understands the indignation of women.” The president’s daughter in the position on the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal she wrote that in a matter as unimaginably difficult as the vision of giving birth to a child that may die minutes or hours after giving birth, the decision to continue or terminate the pregnancy should be left to the woman, because it is she who faces the consequences of her decision for the rest of her life.
Duda said he was proud of his daughter. – I know that in this difficult situation it was not easy to speak up. She has an opinion and expressed it. She is a bit different from mine, because I am more conservative, she is more liberal, but she is an adult and has the full right to do so – he explained.
He also admitted that – unlike his daughter and former president Lech Kaczyński – he did not consider the existing anti-abortion regulations to be a good solution. “I didn’t think the compromise was a good one,” he said.
He noted, however, that the situation where “the possibility of an abortion completely disappears in the case of defects that will certainly result in the death of the child practically speaking in connection with its birth”, is certainly not a situation with which he would agree. – You cannot put a woman in such a situation, it requires overwork – he assessed.
He emphasized that “a woman’s freedom of choice must be preserved, she must decide in her conscience what she wants to do in this situation.”
– You have to get to work and prepare the regulations together with experts, so that children with Down syndrome, for example, are protected, but that women are not exposed to mental and physical suffering – he said. He added that “if a woman is to give birth to a child that is practically immediately dead, it is exposing her to unimaginable mental and physical suffering.”
Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka / PAP