The leader of the Polish ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has caused outrage with statements about alcohol consumption by women. The head of the right-wing populist PiS blamed alleged excessive drinking by young women for the low birth rate in Poland. For these statements he was sharply criticized by opposition politicians.
"If young women continue to drink as much as men of the same age by the age of 25, then there will be no children," the 73-year-old bachelor said on Saturday. "It takes a man, on average, 20 years of heavy drinking to become an alcoholic, a woman only two." Kaczynski says he based his claims on a doctor who has been able to cure a third of his male alcoholic patients, "but not women." .
Left-wing MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus dismissed Kaczynski's comments as "nonsense" and called him "a patriarchal old geezer". The liberal parliamentarian Katarzyna Lubnauer described the statements of the former head of government as "nonsense" that insults women. According to official statistics, the current birth rate in Poland is around 1.3 children per woman, below the EU average.
Critics argue that women in Poland are reluctant to have children for financial reasons and because of restrictive abortion laws.
In October 2020, Poland's highest court, with the support of the national conservative government, also declared the abortion of severely malformed fetuses to be unconstitutional and thus further tightened the already strict requirements.