An anti-abortion billboard campaign showing Hitler and a bloody and torn foetus has sparked outrage in Poland.
Along with the provocative images, the campaign - designed by a Polish anti-abortion group - carries the slogan "Abortion for Poles: introduced by Hitler, March 9, 1943."
AdvertisementFundacja Pro, the organisation behind the billboard, said that it wanted to remind Poles that abortion was first introduced to Poland during the Second World War by the country's Nazi occupiers as a means of limiting the population of a people they deemed inferior.
"It was Hitler who first introduced abortion to Poland, and in several days it will be the anniversary of that event," The Telegraph quoted Pro, as saying.
"In this context it is worth recalling the words of Pope John Paul II: 'History teaches us that democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism'," Fundacja added.
One of Europe's most devoutly Catholic countries, Poland now has some of the strictest abortion laws in the EU, and any attempt to have them liberalised arouses furious and passionate debate.
Nazi Germany inflicted horrific levels of death and destruction on Poland, but any attempt to hijack that suffering for the sake of a political or ethical agenda is being viewed with distaste by critics.
"I understand that this campaign is designed to shock but there are limits to the use of shock. A foetus and Adolf Hitler is unjustified comparison. The design of the billboard is nacceptable and crosses the boundaries of decency," said Elzbieta Streker-Dembinska, an MP and member of the Polish parliament's health committee.
She added that she suspected the billboard campaign was designed to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8, a day which often sees pro-abortion demonstrations in Poland.
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