June 2017. On June 23rd President Andrzej Duda finally signed the bill proposed by the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), which will change the status of the only EC pill currently available without prescription in Poland (EC with ulipristal acetate, sold under the brand name ellaOne).
The so called “Act of 25th May 2017 on the change in the Act on medical services financed from a state budget and some other acts” will enter into effect 30 days after signature (end of July). You can read more about the process in ASTRA’s website.
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, had warned of the catastrophic impact that such a restriction could have, and the Europe branch of the International Planned Parenthood Federation has strongly condemned the measure.
The Polish government has made an important legislative effort, investing a lot of time and public resources, to restrict access to a safe and effective contraceptive; to a drug that allows women and couples to have more control over their bodies and lives; to a drug that helps women realize their rights to health and life. We need to continue educating about emergency contraception, dispelling myths and misconceptions, and strive to ensure sure that EC programs and policies are based on evidence. We have a lot of work to do.