The Politics of Abortion in Poland - from Filmmaker Ewa Stryczek

Dobrze, że Cię mam (It's Good to Have You) is a film which will educate people on what women around the world are going through in order to have an abortion, encouraging a change in attitude and reducing the negative, silencing stigma that exists in places like my own home country of Poland.

Filmmaker Ewa Magdalena Stryczek

Filmmaker, Ewa Magdalena Stryczek is bringing to our attention the role politics plays in policing women’s rights surrounding abortion laws. Focusing on her unique personal experience as a Polish woman, it is through her upcoming film narrative debut Dobrze, że Cię mam (It's Good to Have You), that Ewa is advocating for the support women need during this difficult time. We asked Ewa to share with us her reasons for creating this film and why it’s so essential for conversations surrounding abortion to change.


“The idea for my film, Dobrze, że Cię mam (It's Good to Have You) began when I decided to utilise my skills as a filmmaker to support the pro-choice movement in Poland. Since 2016, I was taking part in the Black Protests, sharing posters online, wearing black on the Protest days, and sharing the hashtags but I felt like this wasn’t enough. By the late Winter of 2018, I had written the first draft of my script about reproductive rights, which I had been developing as an idea for some time. After working on a segment for Panorama about Black Protests in Poland, I realised that there was a lot being left unsaid in the media about the reality of abortion in my country, which encouraged me to continue developing the idea. However, towards the end of 2018, my ideas surrounding the topic became personal.


The word ‘abortion’ carries a lot of shame with it, I noticed that my support networks shrunk and suddenly I felt like I was in this by myself.

I had become pregnant for the first time and after much consideration, decided to have an abortion. For me, it was the right decision solely for the fact that as it was my decision yet I could feel how even just the word ‘abortion’ carried a lot of shame with it. I noticed that my support networks shrunk and suddenly I felt like I was in this by myself. I wanted to have an open conversation about it with all my family and friends but feared what some might say. It was two months later, when my creative partner Karolina and I started casting for the short film, that I felt something in the script needed to change. The story that I needed to tell now was one not only inspired by the situation in my home country but also my own.




In Poland, hostility exists towards many groups of people including those who choose to terminate a pregnancy. The government and church systematically stops its citizens from having access to safe and legal abortions.


A lot of my habits, preconceptions and fears come from being Polish, and even though I always say it proudly, I know Poland, as a country, is not ideal; hostility exists towards many groups of people including those who choose to terminate a pregnancy. The government and church systematically stops its citizens from having access to safe and legal abortions and with new elections on the horizon, all the candidates remain unaffected on the issue, wanting to continue the current abortion laws, apart from Robert Biedroń who is promising to make abortion legal and accessible for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.


We want to raise awareness with this film, show other women that they have a support system, that they are not alone.

Living in the UK meant I could make an informed decision about my abortion, making the experience a lot less straining on me mentally. Unfortunately, the reality in other countries, including Poland, means many people don’t have this right. Often women have to go through the experience alone, in secret or turn to strangers on the internet rather than family or medical professionals. I am part of a number of private groups on Facebook where women from all over Poland seek advice regarding safe abortions. By joining these groups, I started to hear the many stories of women going abroad to visit different clinics and asking where safe places exist online to purchase tablets so that they can conduct medical abortions at home.




The reality in countries, including Poland, means often women have to go through the experience alone, in secret or turn to strangers on the internet rather than family or medical professionals.


To know that these women have little to no support, and relating to this experience on a personal level, is what led to the concept for Dobrze, że Cię mam evolving. My own abortion was very physical - I was still bleeding four months after the procedure - and found myself wrapped in feelings of guilt and shame. I started to second guess my decision, feeling that my reasons weren’t justifiable enough and struggling to find the words to explain this. It can be very difficult to express how you feel when the communities that you grew up around label certain decisions as wrong without even giving people the space to speak and be listened to.


Bringing this project into existence is an essential part of changing the conversations surrounding abortion, aiding the progress of abortion laws and female rights in Poland

The reasons for having an abortion vary from person to person. According to Guttmacher Institute only 4% of abortions are due to a threat to life, crime or foetal impairment. The majority of people choosing to have an abortion make this decision because they simply don’t want to be pregnant. It is that simple. However, in Poland many women face a huge backlash if they decide to bravely voice their experience of abortion; a good example of this comes from a Polish singer called Natalia Przybysz. In 2016 she wrote a song called Przez Sen about her experience of terminating her pregnancy and decided to speak openly about her decision in one of Poland’s most popular magazines Wysokie Obcasy. She was branded irresponsible by the media and at the mercy of severe judgement, reflecting the kind of backlash and shaming many women face.





Bringing this project into existence is an essential part of changing the conversations surrounding abortion, aiding the progress of abortion laws and female rights in Poland, as well spotlighting the reality of female experiences around the globe. We want to raise awareness with this film, show other women that they have a support system, that they are not alone. And so together, with a group of amazing female creatives, we are raising funds to bring Dobrze, że Cię mam (It's Good to Have You) into existence. This film will educate people on what women around the world are going through in order to have an abortion, encouraging a change in attitude and reducing the negative, silencing stigma that exists in places like my own home country of Poland.


You can support us through our Kickstarter campaign, sharing and funding this project and helping to change the conversation to better many women’s lives. We appreciate all your support and look forward to sharing our film with you.


Follow the film's page on Instagram @dobrzezeciemam_shortfilm to keep us to date on the project's progress.


Written by Ewa Magdalene Stryczek

Storyboard Illustrations by Malachi James

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