Ciocia Czesia (Auntie Czesia) - informal collective based in the Czech Republic which helps obtaining legal and safe abortions to people with uteruses from Poland. The initiative was born after Poland’s controversial, politically driven Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortions for “fetal abnormality” (the reason for 90 percent cases currently performed in the country) were illegal, thereby making it almost impossible to undergo. This decision tightens what was called “an abortion compromise” and was already one of the most restrictive laws in Europe: until then, Poland allowed abortions only in cases of rape, incest, danger to the mother’s life, or irreversible fetal abnormality.
“Care is a vital but underexamined praxis of radical politics
that provides spaces of hope in precarious times” 
Dear Mr President of Poland,
Dear Prime Minister of Poland,
Dear Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland,
Dear representatives of the Catholic Church in Poland,
In consequence of draconian abortion ban that you have decided to impose in October last year, my colleagues and I from the collective Ciocia Czesia, unfortunately, keep having our hands full of work. Such inconsiderate, ruthless actions you have undertaken caused worries, sorrow and concerns to many people. But we did not remain quiet and idle - quite the contrary. Since that very day, 22nd October, proclaimed by the others as a launch of revolution, we had, literally, fought back.
Your near-total ban on abortion triggered Poland's biggest demonstrations since the fall of socialism. During those protests people were gathering every day in front of the Polish Embassy in Prague to light candles. We felt resigned and helpless that we cannot be in Poland, on the streets with the others and support protests. We started to talk, thinking how we can benefit from the fact that we are expats here, in the Czech Republic. Thus, with a dose of solidarity, rage and compassion, Ciocia Czesia has emerged, being inspired by her older aunties - Auntie Basia from Berlin and Auntie Wienia from Vienna - collectives around Europe which are helping women to obtain legal abortion outside of Poland.
Since that day we managed to self-organize and build our grassroots structures. We arranged appointments with lawyers, organized workshops with sister organizations and talked with more than 60 clinics and hospitals. In only two months, more than two hundred volunteers willing to help have sent us requests. Among them were Czech-Polish translators, people with spare room to share or even the pilot with a private helicopter who offered to transport people if buses and trains were suspended due to COVID-19. Such a volume of support has blown out your political cynicism and religious fanaticism from the horizon. Besides huge support, we also received messages from anti-choicers, usually men beyond their reproductive age. The most common are visualizations of fetuses but also verbal accusations of “bringing shame on Poland” or even, for some reason, quite peculiar sexually explicit movie sent by a man whose profile picture was taken in the church. Apparently, there was a reason why the very first thing we learnt during workshops was how to take care of our safety.
People flooded the streets of Polish towns and cities which sparked media attention. Due to that, we gave around 50 interviews including for BBC and The Guardian, so we could make our fundraising more visible and efficient. We have already collected more than 5000 EUR which fully covers the cost of 13 abortions performed in Czech clinics. Such a fund is crucial to maintain and reflect the principal values of Ciocia Czesia - solidarity, equality and inclusion. We believe that pregnancy or sexuality cannot be shaped by wealth and another class privilege. “Gender does not come without class and ethnicity, just like abortion is not primarily a choice. Abortion is always first and foremost an issue of availability, which under capitalism is either regulated by the state and/or access to resources”. It means that underprivileged will be sentenced to suffer or forced to risk their lives or health in the abortion underground.
We managed to write a letter to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and to the Ministry of Health, asking for clarification of the legal regulation related to aborion performed by foreigners, being supported by the biggest opposition party in the Czech Republic, Pirátská Strana.
The pandemic restrictions obviously do not make things any easier. Opposing the regime and the lockdown are like contradictory impulses, clash of two orders, when the choice is replaced by governmental injunction and police brutality overlaps freedom. Nevertheless, we are motivated and angry enough to overcome all obstacles and provide basic human rights to those who need them. Even though hotels are closed and there is a night curfew and restrictions on travelling to the Czech Republic, one can still come for 12 hours in case of “essential travels”. Luckily, in some countries, the abortion is still an “essential” reason to cross the border.
Personally, I was never interested in reproductive rights, nor have ever needed an abortion or supported someone obtaining one. However, due to religious fanatics like you, after a month, I already know a difference between pharmacological and vacuum abortion, I know that after surgical abortion you should take showers instead of baths and use pads instead of tampons. Thanks to your misogyny we are becoming better and better supporting people in unwanted pregnancies.
The new abortion guerillas are being born around Europe in order to practice care and to make sure that no person in need is left without access to safe abortion, care and support. We did not wait long to get first requests. Each week 10-20 people ask us for help in obtaining legal and safe treatment outside of their country. It is not surprising because official statistics are heavily underestimated. In 2019 there were only 1110 legal abortions in Poland. Unofficially there might be even between 80 000 and 150 000 abortions every year. It means between 25 to 33 percent of Polish women had an abortion at least once in their life. 
We got in touch with several people who needed help only after a couple of weeks working as Ciocia Czesia. Even though we never ask for a reason, we often get to know their stories. I will never forget them, I just cannot get them out of my head - stories about marital rape, mental diseases, or being denied abortion in case of fetal abnormality. I could not even know how heartily and heavily it may affect me until the moment I got very drunk with my partner and while we discussed the situation in Poland over and over again I had uncontrolled emotional outburst - outbursting of tears, feeling overwhelmed, overworked, alienated and angry.
I spent all day curing my swollen eyes, trying to understand what happened. Wanting to help myself, I participated in a few meetings and workshops led by the biggest pro-choice organization from Poland, Aborcyjny Dream Team, where they taught us how to talk about abortions, how to brace the others but also how to care about ourselves. I started to participate in the support group Klimat i Emocje, which was created for people who suffer from the violation of human rights in Poland. I began to follow RegenerAkcja - a place for burned-out activists. All of those amazing initiatives (and many, many more) had to be created because of the bigotry and medieval prejudices infecting your brains.
Dear Politicians, dear representatives of the Polish Catholic Church, thanks to your actions, I became a witness of a new sisterhood being born. We came together in unity against people who hate us. A grassroot, international, unconditional and empowering solidarity which will always find a way to help each other despite the barbarian law, lockdown and pandemic.
Dear Sisters, you will never walk alone!
Member of Ciocia Czesia
. Radical Care: Survival Strategies for Uncertain Times. Hi‘ilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart; Tamara Kneese. Social Text 142 • Vol. 38, No. 1, 2020
. Federation for Women and Family Planning