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Reproduction And Abortion Rights In Poland

1771 words - 7 pages

Should a woman have control over her body, and with that make reproductive choices? Reproduction and abortion have been a controversial topic for over fifty years. Some people argue pro-life while others argue pro-choice. Who should have the right to choose for women? Poland, along with many other Central-Eastern European countries, believe that the choice should be in the hands of the state, government, and more importantly the church.
Poland is located in central-eastern Europe, and had approximately 38.7 million people as of 2003 (Center For Reproductive Rights, 2003). That number has slowly changed and is now 38.5 million as of 2012. Between 1995 and 2000 the annual growth rate was .1%. Men were expected to live on average 68.2 years, while women were expected to live 76.9 years. Also as of 2003, there were 106 women for every 100 men (Center For Reproductive Rights, 2003). Why is this important? In 1998, there were 23 live births per every 1000 women between the ages 15-19. On the other hand, there were 15 infant deaths per every 1000 live births(Center For Reproductive Rights, 2003). This means that for every 43,478.26 women between 15 and 19, there would be 1000 births of which 15 infants would not survive. This can explain why the population growth has been very low or declining.
Even with such a large population, Poland has an inadequate amount of medical facilities. As of 2003, Poland had 8,461 medical clinics and health care centers. Of these 8,461 medical centers 5,256 are in urban locations, this leaves 3,295 in rural environments. 715 of these are general hospitals, and only eight of these have maternity departments. One doctor is responsible for caring for 424 people, while 1 nurse is responsible for 178. There are 6,341 gynecologists and 24,424 midwives between public and private medical facilities (Center For Reproductive Rights, 2003).
Poland’s Health program is known as NHP or National Health program Its main purpose was to prevent premature births and delay or prevent breast cancer. In 1993 Poland enacted a National Program for Development of Prenatal Care. The problem with this program is that it only considers women as mothers. It ignored the needs of women, especially those that were too old to have children, couldn’t bear children, or women that just did not want to have children. Its only concern was making sure the babies were born and that the mothers were getting the care they needed to give birth(Center For Reproductive Rights, 2003).
Although health coverage is automatically given to all citizens, it is supposed to be universal. Since 19999 employed citizens have had to pay 7.5% of their pay or income towards a health insurance premium. Those unemployed could file for waivers to receive health coverage, anyone in their family were also covered by this waiver. The elderly were also covered but did not have to pay for a health premium. Also, the Ministry of Health paid for orphans, poor farmers, and people who...

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