10 badass pics from Poland’s massive protest in support of abortion rights.

Gabriela, a 41-year-old mom from Warsaw, Poland, has had enough of her country's outdated abortion laws.

And she's far from the only person in Poland feeling that way.

Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images.


"I am doing it for my daughter," she told The Independent about skipping work to join the peaceful protest that ended up catching the entire world's attention.

Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images.

Gabriela was one of thousands making a ruckus on Oct. 3, 2016, to stand up for abortion rights in Poland.

Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images.

Dressed in dark clothing to commemorate what was dubbed "Black Monday," people took to the streets — in Poland and around the world — to protest a proposed new measure that would outlaw abortion nationally.

Not certain types of abortions or abortions only after a given number of weeks — all abortions.

Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images.

Protesters wore black in reference to mourning the rights they'd lose should the new measure become law.

How could such a drastic law even be on the table?

After an anti-choice petition began picking up steam — garnering 450,000 signatures — Poland's conservative party in power, called Law and Justice, used the effort to justify making moves to further restrict abortion access by banning the procedure altogether.

Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images.

Legal abortion in predominantly-Catholic Poland is already extremely rare. It's banned, except for when a woman's life is in danger, the fetus is damaged, or in cases of rape or incest.

All of those "except for" instances would be slashed under the new measure. Abortion would be illegal — period.

The new measure wouldn't prevent abortions from happening, of course — they'd just make them much less safe.

Women get abortions, whether or not they're permissible. Study after study has shown this to be true. Ending abortion care would only make life in Poland more dangerous for people who become pregnant but don't wish to become a parent.

One study out of Texas — a state that's seen a steady drop in abortion clinics in recent years — found that, unsurprisingly, self-induced (and riskier) abortion was more common among women who had difficulty accessing reproductive services. As more clinics close, more people fall into this category.

Photo by Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images.

In Poland, there were only 1,000 legal abortions last year, yet estimates suggest about 100,000 abortions were carried out illegally or by Polish women who left the country so they could access care.

If Polish officials truly want to prevent abortions from happening, they should focus on methods that actually work, like expanding access to birth control and prioritizing sex education in schools.  

This Ukrainian activist's sign reads "I am for the right of women to decide for themselves." Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images.

The new measure in Poland might seem far-fetched to some Americans watching from afar, but things could change dramatically here after Nov. 8, too.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has suggested women should be "punished" for getting an abortion. His running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence, wants Roe v. Wade — the landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing a woman's right to choose — "consigned to the ash heap of history, where it belongs."

A conservative U.S. Congress probably wouldn't do much to stop a Trump administration's war on women's rights either.

Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images.

We don't have to wait until 2017 to see how the elimination of abortion access could affect American women — we already have the evidence.

Since 2010, 38 states have passed over 300 new abortion restrictions, according to The Guardian. Dozens of abortion clinics, predominantly in the South, West, and Midwest, have closed their doors. This has led to more unsafe abortions and a rise in horror stories medical providers report regularly from women who've lost access to care.

Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images.

“These are stories of desperation, not empowerment,” Sarah Roberts, a University of California at San Francisco researcher who's studied the effects of abortion clinic closures, told The Guardian. “These are stories of women going into their medicine cabinets and using things that are in there, or stories of women using illegal drugs, in the hopes that it will end their pregnancies.”

It's a dark reality many Polish women know all too well, and on Black Monday, they refused to stay silent.

The Black Monday strike made waves across dozens of Polish communities, which were essentially forced to shut down due to the protests.

Schools and offices were shuttered in over 60 cities throughout the country, as protesters forced Poland to come to a grinding halt. As you might imagine, it's difficult to carry on business as usual when half the population is preoccupied demanding they be treated like human beings capable of making their own medical decisions.

Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images.

It appears protesters' message struck a chord with the Polish people as a whole too.

While the new restrictive measure was already unpopular, a new poll out on Black Monday showed the anti-abortion initiative is taking a toll on the conservative party in power that's pressing for the new law's passing: Public support for the Law and Justice party dipped to a new low of just 29% according to one poll. The anti-abortion effort is certainly a factor.

"I am very happy," Elzbieta Turczynska, a protester in Waraw, told the Associated Press. "I treat it as the end of some era, hopefully a very short one, but a really dangerous one for us."

Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
True

Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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