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Gabriela, a 41-year-old mom from Warsaw, Poland, has had enough of her country's outdated abortion laws.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

More
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular