A discourse analysis was carried out to identify how women’s reproductive rights and needs are reflected in pro-life and pro-choice public debate in Poland.
The research procedure was based on the need to answer how pro-life and pro-choice discourses define women’s reproductive rights in Poland (including the right to abortion)? Discourse analysis was applied to answer this question. The research covered materials published in rightist-conservative and leftist-feminist social-political portals and popular media during 2009–2014 when the so-called ‘abortion compromise’ was in force period 2016–2017 when a proposal for an absolute abortion ban caused women to protest throughout Poland.
Our research showed that the construction of the analyzed discourses is processual. Owing to social changes, both addresses have become strongly radicalized. The rightist-conservative address is emotional and criticizing, restricting women’s rights to the benefit of the fetus’s rights. The leftist-feminist view is oriented towards emphasizing freedom of choice and observing women’s rights.
The study concluded that pro-life movement discourse might be defined as promoting women’s reproductive rights restriction. At the same time, leftist-feminist speech may be seen as promoting women’s reproductive rights.