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“A woman should follow her own conscience”: understanding Catholic involvement in demonstrations against the abortion ban in Poland

Co-authored with Agnieszka Kosiorowska and Natalia Pomian, Lud, vol. 105 (2021)

In October 2020, a ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal effectively ending legal abortion incited mass protests across the country. Despite the demonstrations being directed at both the government and the Catholic Church, many devout Catholics joined the protests against the Church’s opposition to family planning being enacted through state-imposed prohibition.

Drawing on ongoing archival and ethnographic research, in this paper we address a number of issues relating to Catholicism and abortion: how it is possible that so many Catholics decided to take part in pro-choice marches openly opposing official Catholic teaching on birth control? What were their motivations?


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