Interview Aleksandra Solik Director, Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning Monday June 24, 2002 Novolipki 13-15 Warsaw Transcribed by Joel Morton (DRAFT) 000-360 JM: Thank you so much for meeting with me. AS: Oh, you're welcome. It is a pleasure for me, too. JM: Yes, let me give you my card, so you have it. AS: OK, I will go and take my card. [She goes to get a card for me. Pause.] JM: Yes, I am an assistant professor of gender studies at St. Lawrence University in New York. And I am here, learning about gender studies in the universities, but also visiting places such as yours to learn more. First of all, I would be very interested to have you simply describe what the work here is. AS: Ja. Well, this is the Federation for Women and Family Planning, which focuses on the reproductive rights of women in Poland. The organization was established in 1991. I hope I am not wrong, because for some time we were active nonformally, and then it was alive. It was established by five organizations working communally to have especially an organization which would focus on abortion rights. So our first and main goal is to ask for the abortion rights in Poland, which at first was to defend the old abortion law, and when the law was changed to a restrictive one, to ask for liberalization of that law. Of this law which is now. 34 And also we are for the full right to contraceptives, and for sex education for young people, and for information on reproductive health services. Also now because we have such a restrictive law, we are asking for access to legal abortion. Because according to the law, abortion is legal in three cases in Poland. When the woman's life or health is in danger; when the pregnancy is itself is of rape or incest; and also when the fetus is deformed, or you know. But in practice women do not have access to those, in such cases, to abortion, and they are organized that way in practice. For example, in the year 2004 we had only 138 legal abortions in Poland. JM: In the whole nation? AS: In the whole nation, yes, and we have more than 9 million women of reproductive age, so that shows the problem. One of our main activities is advocacy, and also lobbying for the change of that law, and we cooperate with some parliamentarians, those
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