Polish politicians have withdrawn draft legislation that would introduce a near-total ban on abortion, in a hastily arranged vote that marks the first major domestic setback for the ruling conservatives and follows massive street protests.
Up to 100,000 women dressed in black protested throughout Poland on Monday against plans to tighten the country's already restrictive abortion rules.
Right-wing and liberal parliamentarians in the 450-member lower house joined forces to vote 352 against 58 to reject the controversial bill, with 18 abstentions.
While the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party generally favours banning abortion, most Poles support existing legislation which allows terminations in certain cases.
PiS last month pushed ahead with the controversial bill, that would allow terminations only if the mother's life is at risk and increase the maximum jail term for practitioners from two years to five.
The citizens' initiative tabled in parliament by the Stop Abortion coalition would also have made women who have terminations liable to prison terms, though judges could waive punishment.
Poland's influential Catholic Church initially gave the initiative its seal of approval earlier this year, though its bishops have since opposed jailing women.
Passed in 1993, the current restrictive law bans all abortions unless there was rape or incest, the pregnancy poses a health risk to the mother or the foetus is severely deformed.
A poll published last month by the Newsweek Polska magazine showed that 74% of Poles want to keep the existing law.
The country of 38 million people sees less than 2,000 legal abortions a year, but women's groups estimate that another 100,000-150,000 procedures are performed illegally or abroad.