Polish women’s groups work to circumvent new abortion regime

October’s court ruling outlaws abortions even in the case of foetal abnormalities

May 8, 2021
Derek Scally in Berlin

Justyna Wydrzynska draws an exhausted breath before describing her long days assisting the Polish women who call her each day for help.

A member of the ironically titled Abortion Dream Team, a collective which helps Polish women secure terminations abroad, Ms Wydrzynska said the women who reached her were living in a waking nightmare.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/polish-women-s-groups-work-to-circumvent-new-abortion-regime-1.4558721

Poland’s Government Requests Czechia Stop Offering Abortions to Polish Women

A secretary of state at Poland’s Foreign Ministry said abortions offered to Polish women in Czech clinics are “an encouragement to violate the rights of Polish citizens” and could affect bilateral relations.

Claudia Ciobanu, Warsaw
May 3, 2021

The Polish government on Monday confirmed a report by the Czech weekly Respekt that a representative of the Polish embassy in Prague had sent a letter to the Czech health minister in March asking him to intervene to block legislation being debated by the Czech parliament that would clarify the terms under which foreigners can get abortions in the country.

The intervention by the Polish chargé d’affaires in Prague, described as diplomatically unusual by a Czech deputy minister for legislation, indicates that the right-wing Law and Justice-led (PiS) government is now looking to prevent Polish women from seeking a termination abroad after it engineered a near-total ban on abortion at home. On October 22, the Constitutional Tribunal, which has been illegally stuffed with PiS-friendly judges, ruled that abortions in the case of a malformation of the foetus are unconstitutional.

Continued: https://balkaninsight.com/2021/05/03/polands-government-requests-czechia-stop-offering-abortions-to-polish-women/

Abortion Without Borders helps more than 17,000 with abortion in six months after Polish constitutional court ruling

Published on April 22, 2021

Exactly six months ago – on the 22nd October 2020 – the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland ruled that the performing abortion due to foetal defects in Polish hospitals is unconstitutional. Even though the decision came into force only at the end of January 2021, in practice the change worked immediately. Already on the 23rd October 2020 the first four people who had been refused abortion in Polish hospitals called Abortion Without Borders.

In the last 6 months the groups that make up Abortion Without Borders have helped thousands of people from Poland to access abortion. 597 people were able to terminate their pregnancy abroad in the second trimester. The financial support exceeded 420,000 PLN (£79,500)

Continued: https://www.asn.org.uk/press-release-abortion-without-borders-helps-more-than-17000-with-abortion-in-six-months-after-polish-constitutional-court-ruling/

UK – Pills in the post: how Covid reopened the abortion wars

As some European countries rolled out ‘telemed’ abortion, others shut down access completely.

by Sarah Hurtes and Daniel Boffey
Wed 21 Apr 2021

Kay, 34, realised her period was late a month into Britain’s lockdown. The coronavirus death count was spiralling across the country. Covid-19 was putting the NHS under unprecedented strain and Boris Johnson had given the British people what he described as “a very simple instruction” in an address to the nation from Downing Street: “You must stay at home.”

A worrying, unsettling time, and Kay, a mother of a six-year-old girl, needed to get hold of a pregnancy test kit. She went online and, two days later, took delivery of the test, learning of a positive result via two pink lines. It was the news she had dreaded.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/21/pills-in-the-post-how-covid-reopened-the-abortion-wars

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

This fight against women's oppression is not just a struggle for women, but for all of humanity.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

by Alison Bodine, Common Dreams

March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, is an important day to recognize the
challenges confronted and the great victories made by women around the world,
especially in the past year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last 12 months, in addition to the health challenges posed by Covid-19
itself, women have faced increasing rates of domestic violence, higher rates of
job loss, as well as a larger burden of the care of children and families
because of the pandemic. In countries like the U.S. and Canada, government
mismanagement of Covid-19 has amplified the health and economic crisis. Black,
Indigenous, and immigrant women and their communities have been
disproportionately impacted by the crisis.
Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/06/womens-rights-are-human-rights

Poland: Escalating Threats to Women Activists

Human Rights Watch
March 31, 2021

(Berlin) – Bomb and death threats targeting at least seven groups in Poland for supporting women’s rights and the right to abortion are disturbing reminders of escalating risks to women’s human rights defenders in the country, Human Rights Watch, CIVICUS, and International Planned Parenthood Federation-European Network (IPPF-EN) said today.

The authorities should urgently investigate, protect the women targeted and hold those responsible for the threats accountable. Polish officials should also counter abusive misinformation campaigns targeting activists.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/31/poland-escalating-threats-women-activists

Polish abortion ban spotlights overlooked hospices

Issued on: 27/03/2021

In the wake of Poland's near-total ban on abortions, the need for support for pregnant women with severe foetal defects is greater than ever but few know there are specialised clinics they can turn to for help.

The founder of the biggest of about 20 perinatal hospices in Poland said that women were often failing to be informed about the palliative care offered by the centres after a diagnosis.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210327-polish-abortion-ban-spotlights-overlooked-hospices

The women trapped and traumatised by Poland’s near-total abortion ban

Poland already had some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, but new changes have effectively banned them completely.

21 Mar 2021
(26 minute podcast)

Poland already had some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, but new changes have effectively banned them completely.

Many women now have to travel abroad to seek abortions or risk performing them at home.

Continued: https://www.channel4.com/news/the-women-trapped-and-traumatised-by-polands-near-total-abortion-ban

Organizations Join Council of Europe’s Urgent Call for Poland to Ensure Access to Lawful Abortion Care and Services

March 16, 2021
Center for Reproductive Rights

On 11 March 2021, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe issued a resolution calling on Poland to adopt, without further delay, long overdue clear and effective procedures for women’s access to lawful abortion care and information.

The resolution expresses serious concerns about Poland’s longstanding failure to comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments in the cases of Tysiąc v. Poland, R.R. v. Poland and P. and S. v. Poland. In these judgments, the Court found a number of human rights violations, citing the multiple obstacles and deplorable treatment that the applicants faced in seeking access to lawful abortion care in Poland. The judgments became final in 2007, 2011, and 2013, respectively. Ample time has passed since the first of these landmark judgments, and yet Poland has repeatedly failed to take effective measures to meet these judgments.

Continued: http://reproductiverights.org/press-room/organizations-join-council-europes-urgent-call-poland-ensure-access-lawful-abortion-care

Poland must adopt clear and effective
procedures for women to access lawful abortion

12 MARCH 2021

The Committee of Ministers of the 47-nation Council of Europe has adopted an
Interim Resolution (*) calling on Poland to adopt clear and effective
procedures on steps women need to take to access lawful abortion. These
procedures should ensure that no unnecessary requirements are imposed on
pregnant women seeking lawful abortion by hospitals beforehand and cover
abortion refusals on grounds of conscience. The authorities also should ensure
that women be provided with adequate information on these procedures.

The Interim Resolution relates to Poland’s implementation of three judgments
from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning legal abortions (P.
and S. and Tysiac and R.R.), which pre-date restrictions of the laws on legal
abortion in Poland resulting from a judgment of the Constitutional Court of 22
October 2020.

Continued: https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/poland-must-adopt-clear-and-effective-procedures-for-women-to-access-lawful-abortion