The proposed bill was the result of a citizens’ initiative by the conservative think-tank Ordo Iuris, which gathered 450,000 signatures in favor of tightening abortion legislation. It would also have made abortion punishable with a five-year prison term. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo called for the protection of life during pregnancy and announced three pledges, including a new program to support families who decide to give birth to. As a Catholic nation, Poland already has some of the strictest regulations in Europe when it comes to abortion. The government of Poland did not expect such huge protests. The protests were spontaneous, thousands of women were walking out of work. Jarosław Gowin, the minister of science and higher education, said on Wednesday that the protests had “caused us to think and taught us humility”. Polls also suggest that support for the government has dropping to its lowest levels since elections last year.