PiS respects citizen projects? Unless it’s about women’s rights, then not

“I want to remind you that PiS has a rule that every citizen’s bill is not rejected in first reading and goes to work in committee,” said Joanna Lichocka, PiS deputy a year and a half ago. “It is a matter of respect for citizens (at least 100,000 signatures). This means no support for the project (I will be against the Sejm taking over the project from Mr. Godek)”.

PiS respect for fanatics

Lichocka wrote these words on October 21, 2021 after voting for the #StopLGBT project.

The project, as if it had been taken out of Putin’s Russia alive, banned the promotion of civil unions, among other things, and if it came into effect, equality parades would become illegal. Homophobic fanatics collected 140,000 signatures on it. One of the applicants, Krzysztof Kasprzak, compared LGBT people to the Nazis from a parliamentary gallery. And yet hands for the Sejm to continue working on this bill were raised by Jarosław Kaczyński, Jadwiga Emilewicz, who was considered a PiS liberal, and Joanna Lichocka.

While the bill — which was basically an amendment to the popular assemblies law — defied all democratic norms, PiS decided to please the far right. And he provided the public with such a translation: we do not reject civil laws at first reading. Lichocka tried to convince that there was nothing exceptional about it – just a principle.

I would like to remind you that PiS has a rule that every citizen’s bill is not rejected at first reading and goes to work in committee. It is a matter of respect for the citizen (at least one hundred thousand signatures).

Joanna Lichoka, Twitter – 29/10/2021


September 23, 2016 Warsaw, Sejm. Joanna Lichocka and Jaroslaw Kaczynski after the abortion law vote. Photo Slawomir Kaminski / Agencja Gazeta

lie. Lie. PiS rejects citizen projects to legalize abortion

Curiously, this alleged rule does not apply to projects to legalize abortion.

Not such citizens?

Work on the “On Safe Termination of Pregnancy and Other Reproductive Rights” project will not be continued. On June 23, 2022, the Sejm rejected it in first reading by the votes of PiS, the Polish PSL coalition, the Confederation, part of Poland 2050 by Szymon Hołownia, the agreement of Jarosław Gowin and Kukiz’15.

As we wrote, “The Committee »Legal Abortion. No Compromise« registered in May 2021. In December of the same year, he announced that he had managed to collect 100,000 signatures under the law – as many as is necessary to bring the Civil Law into the Sejm. But the commission continued to collect signatures.” At the end of March, there were more than 200,000 signatures.

The project arose in connection with the protests in the autumn of 2020. Women who subsequently took to the streets in hundreds of Polish cities had different views on abortion. However, a greater acceptance of leaving the decision on this issue to women is shown by subsequent polls.

There is no doubt that the project is an expression of the aspirations of a large number of citizens.

However, PiS turned it down. It is not the first time that a project on the legalization of abortion has ended up in the parliamentary basket, despite being a citizen project.

When it comes to abortion, we throw it in the trash

In August 2016, the then spokeswoman for the PiS club, Beata Mazurek, said: “Every citizen’s project will be forwarded for further work.”

At the time, there were two community abortion projects. The first is “Let’s Save Women” – legalizing abortion until the 12th week, the second – # StopAbortion was completely banned. Before the vote, Marshal Ryszard Terlecki announced: “In the election campaign, we promised that no civic project would end up in the trash without going ahead. We have chosen to keep this promise despite the fact that we strongly disagree with this project.”

And what happened? The second version passed, the first ended up in the trash. PiS then broke up, some MPs were even in favor of sending the “Let’s Save Women” project for further work (58 people, including Kaczyński and Lichocka), but the majority were in favor of rejecting it immediately (166 ).

In 2018, the situation repeated itself. Hundreds of thousands of people re-signed the “Save the Women” project, the project was returned to the Sejm and was thrown in the trash for the second time. 43 MPs from PiS were in favor of further work, 176 – against.

PiS has also forgotten a project by Andrzej Rozenek (then Lewica, now PPS) on pensions for former officials. There were no divisions in the club here – 222 MPs and PiS deputies rejected at first reading.

So where is this supposed rule? What would also apply to any project?

Only Tusk is seen by the news again

Joanna Lichocka, hacked on Twitter, did not elaborate on her statement from eight months ago. Jacek Kurski and TVP’s ‘Wiadomości’ have a helping hand.

“She fought in the street for an abortion on demand. Now also in the Sejm. In vain. The project approved by Marta Lempart, which allows, among other things, the possibility of termination of pregnancy up to the 12th week, was rejected by the deputies ”- thus begins the announcement of the material of Piotr Nowina-Konopka on Thursday’s vote. Not a word about it being a citizenship project.

TVP presenter and beam
TVP news about the Legal Abortion project, June 23, 2022

Looking at TVP material gives the impression that the project was co-written by Marta Lempart and Donald Tusk.

In this way, “Wiadomości” deprives the project’s citizenship value, as cleverly as it lies.

The News quotes Lempart’s statements to police officers as saying, “She tried to foment a street riot.” Not a word about the hundreds of thousands of women who then marched through the streets of Polish cities, shouting with a deep sense of pain and anger: “Go away!”.

Agata Szczęśniak
Agata Szczęśniak

Editor, publicist. Co-founder and long-time Vice General of Krytyka Polityczna. She worked in “Gazeta Wyborcza”. As a sociologist, she also studied philosophy and international relations. He teaches at SWPS University. Proud of her Mazovian and Podlasie roots.
At OKO.press she writes about media, Polish and foreign politics and women’s rights.

Leave a Comment