Poland’s lawmakers have passed new legislation aimed at encouraging women pregnant with disabled babies not to have an abortion. The new policy, called For Life, will offer a one-off €900 bonus to families of babies with disabilities, in addition to the €300 monthly allowance that parents currently receive.
As reported by the local media, the policy is scheduled to go into effect next year. The new measure passed parliament in a 267-140 vote, with 21 abstaining.
President Andrzej Duda, who is also urging support for a bill to ban abortions on babies with disabilities, is expected to sign the measure.
Abortion is legal in cases of rape and incest, the life or health of the mother or severe fetal deformities – though “severe” is widely defined and unborn babies with disabilities like Down syndrome legally can be aborted under the current law.
CBN News reported that 1,040 unborn babies were aborted in Poland last year, and most were babies with severe genetic defects.
In late October, Duda told Polsat News that the current laws are “ineffective” in protecting unborn babies from abortion.
“I believe that the lives of these children are too poorly protected at the moment,” Duda said.
This latest twist comes one month after activists staged huge protests against a proposed bill to ban all abortions in Poland.