Saturday, November 04, 2006

Poland Veering Further Right

As readers of the Informant know Poland has taken a hard right turn since the Kaczynki twin brothers came to power. Extremists hound gays, rabbis and other unfortunates.

The fragrance of intolerance has been sprayed about by the conservative Law and Justice party of prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Abortion is now all but outlawed, thanks to a Catholic Church now free to flex the crucifix.

Now Poland's conservatives have turned their attention to the nation's schools. Poles were shocked in October when a 14-year-old girl in the northern city of Gdansk hanged herself after being undressed and fondled by boys who did this despicable act in front of classmates!

The country's Education Minister Roman Giertych is to announce a so-called "Zero Tolerance" plan to fight school violence. Kaczynski has blamed liberal "tolerance" for the upswing in violence at Polish schools. "The time of tolerance and doing nothing about these matters is behind us," he said. According to the AP news agency, Kaczynski will send police and prosecutors to all the country's schools soon to get a handle on the disciplinary problem plaguing the schools. The Poles are talking pretty radical stuff, like separate schools for boys and girls. Getting tough on toots is all the talk among Law and Justice party member who want kids who commit crimes as young as 15 treated as adults, i.e. send 'em to the clinker with adults.

Turning the schools into prisons isn't all the Polish rightwingers have on their plate. Abortion is allowed in Poland only in cases of abortion, rape and whent the life of the mother is at risk, but even here the Poles find things need tightening. The League of Polish Families, part of the ruling coalition, wants to have a "right to life from the moment of conception" written into the constitution just to make sure slimey liberals can't tinker with the draconian abortion law sometime in the future, and maybe, just maybe, to outright ban all abortions whatever the circumstances. Needless to say, the Catholic Church likes the idea.

Some people, namely feminist and leftwing groups, are fighting this one. On November 4, about 400 of 'em demonstrated in Warsaw against the country's abortion legislation, among the toughest in Europe.

Pro-choice people predict a total ban on abortion will be a boom for the country's already flourishing back street abortion industry.

"We calculate at between 80,000 and 200,000 a year the number of illegal abortions," Wanda Nowicka, president of the country's family planning federation, told AFP recently.

I'm sure many a family-values type in the U.S. would love to replicate the Polish model on the other side of the Atlantic.

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