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Polish court rejects liberal abortion law

abortion May 28, 1997
Web posted at: 6:00 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT)

WARSAW, Poland (CNN) -- A Polish law passed last year that effectively allowed abortions on demand clashes with the constitution and must be re-examined by parliament, Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled Wednesday.

The tribunal ruling comes days ahead of a visit by Pope John Paul II, who was appalled by the liberalization of abortion in his native country. The pope is to arrive May 31.

The law sparked heated debate in Poland, especially among pro-Catholic parties. A two-thirds majority is need in parliament to overturn the existing law. Pending a parliamentary vote, the law will remain in effect.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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