Abortion activist group Women on Waves just flew its Abortion Drone across the German/Polish border. The drone was carrying abortion pills, and when it touched down on the other side of the Oder River after outmaneuvering German police, two Polish women swallowed the pills.
In Poland, the already-strict abortion laws, which only allow an abortion if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or her health, are set to get even worse. The governing Law and Justice party, a right-wing, Christian organization, is backing the new bill. The proposed law will even prevent abortions of ectopic pregnancies and rape pregnancies. “It will protect the life of an unborn child at all costs, including the distress–or the death–of its mother,” writes Zofia Reych in the Guardian. The Law and Justice party is the same backward-thinking party that wants to ban wind power in Poland.
To protest this proposed law, Women on Waves staged this spectacular publicity stunt. A drone took off from the German side of the river Oder, pursued by German police, which it managed to outmaneuver. “The German police confiscated the drone controllers and personal iPads. They claim there was a violation of the Arzneimittelgesetz [Germany’s medicines act],” say the Women on Waves in a press release.
Of course, Polish women can cross the border themselves and get medical treatment in Germany, but if there are complications, then these women can be denied medical help in their own country. And traveling abroad for proper medicine isn’t affordable by everyone. Zofia Reych again:
A close friend recently had to travel for eight hours to a private hospital Slovakia to have an abortion. After the expensive procedure, she felt fine as her partner drove them back to Poland. But that night she started suffering severe abdominal pain. She realized that if she went to the hospital the doctor could notify the police. Fortunately, the pain subsided and her fear wasn’t put to the test.
As publicity stunts go, this one is pretty spectacular. But the proposed laws that it is drawing attention to are an equally spectacular attempt to deny human rights to women.
Cover Photo: Valentin Valkov via Shutterstock