Ukraine’s Women Refugees Face the Harsh Reality of Poland’s Abortion Restrictions

BY AMIE FERRIS-ROTMAN
JUNE 21, 2022

In the early days of May, in the third month of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a mother in her early 40s crossed the border into Poland, seeking safety for herself and two teenage children. She also carried with her a secret: as Russians advanced on her hometown, she was raped by Russian soldiers.

She didn’t want anyone to know what happened, according to the Polish NGO that came to her aid. Her husband, who is in the Ukrainian army, was fighting and away from home. Once in Poland, the woman discovered she was pregnant. But getting an abortion in a country with a near-total ban, and navigating this terrain in a new language, was far from simple.

Continued: https://time.com/6188502/ukraine-women-poland-abortion-ban/


US anti-abortion group targets Ukrainian refugees

Heartbeat International is appealing for money to fund its anti-abortion network in Ukraine and eastern Europe

Diana Cariboni
20 June 2022

US anti-abortion group Heartbeat International is taking advantage of Russia’s war in Ukraine to fundraise for ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ targeting refugees, openDemocracy has learnt.

Reproductive health experts fear the group could use its centres in Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Romania to gain access to vulnerable people and persuade them to continue with unwanted pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/heartbeat-exploits-ukraine-fundraising-anti-abortion-rape/


Canada – Ukrainian victims of sexual violence need reproductive health care: Sajjan

Canadian Press
May 29, 2022

OTTAWA — International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan says he told Canadian officials in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to ensure that women sexually assaulted by Russian troops get the help they need — including access to abortions if they wish.

He said pregnant sexual assault victims who have fled Ukraine, where abortion is legal, to Poland, which last year outlawed abortion in most cases, could be helped to travel to elsewhere in Europe.

Continued: https://chatnewstoday.ca/2022/05/29/ukrainian-victims-of-sexual-violence-need-reproductive-health-care-sajjan/


Millions of Ukrainians are arriving to a battle over abortion rights in Poland

May 20, 2022
Ari Shapiro, Elena Burnett, Courtney Dorning|
11-minute podcast with transcript

Ukraine has very liberal abortion laws. In Poland, it is almost entirely illegal. Millions of Ukrainians discovered this when they fled the war in their home country and crossed the Polish border.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Imagine stepping across a border and discovering that reproductive rights you once took for granted are now a crime. For millions of Ukrainians, that discovery happened when they fled the war in their home country and set foot here in Poland. Ukraine has very liberal abortion laws. In Poland, it's almost entirely illegal. But while Poland's anti-abortion effort has the weight of the government behind it, there is another movement, one that's secretive, underground and punishable with prison time. You see it right here on the border if you know where to look.

Continued:  https://www.npr.org/2022/05/20/1100476995/millions-of-ukrainians-are-arriving-to-a-battle-over-abortion-rights-in-poland


U.N. and advocates raise concerns of abortion access for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

May 17, 2022
PATRICK ADAMS, NPR

Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland.

And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/17/994654590/u-n-and-advocates-raise-concerns-of-abortion-access-for-ukrainian-refugees-in-po


‘Declare it to a doctor, and it’s over’: Ukrainian women face harsh reality of Poland’s abortion laws

Women turn to aid groups for help, with many unaware their rights to reproductive healthcare have vanished upon crossing the border

Weronika Strzyżyńska
Tue 10 May 2022

When the first Russian bombs fell on Ukraine, Myroslava Marchenko was a gynaecologist at a private clinic in Kyiv. The next day, one of her patients was due to have an abortion after prenatal tests showed a high chance of Down’s syndrome.

Instead, like millions across the country, Marchenko and her patient fled to safety, crossing the border into Poland where abortions due to foetal abnormalities – or “on eugenic grounds” in the language of the country’s constitutional tribunal – are illegal.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/may/10/ukrainian-women-face-harsh-reality-poland-abortion-laws


Ukraine war: Volunteers deliver emergency contraception pills

By Annabel Rackham, BBC News
Apr 29, 2022

Charities are working to deliver emergency contraception into Ukrainian hospitals as reports of rape rise.

Nearly 3,000 packets of morning-after pills have been sent to areas of the country most affected by the Russian invasion.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has provided the pills, which volunteers are delivering.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-61269792


Ukrainian Victims of Wartime Rape May Be Forced To Give Birth—All Thanks to This U.S. Policy

4/27/2022
by CHRISTINE RYAN

Seeking protection from Russian bombing and shelling amidst a siege of their city, thousands of civilians in Bucha bunkered down in subways and basements. But for some, the reprieve from artillery was not enough. For women and girls, there was no shelter from the sexual violence inflicted by Russian soldiers.

Rape, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy are among the war crimes reportedly suffered by women and girls in Bucha and in wider Ukraine. Yet, the cruelty endured by these victims does not end there. Thanks to U.S. policy, abortion may be unavailable to these women and girls.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2022/04/27/ukraine-war-rape-helms-amendment/


Ukrainians face rape, trafficking risk while those in Poland cannot access abortion

Ukrainian women fleeing the war are at risk of sexual violence, rape, and trafficking and those who are pregnant as a result cannot get an abortion in Poland due to one of Europe’s strictest anti-abortion laws.

By Giedre Peseckyte | EURACTIV.com
Apr 27, 2022

During the first days of the war, a 29-year-old Ukrainian woman fled the country with her two children. After about a week of travelling, she crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border, having never visited before and not speaking the language. As she travelled at night, by the side of the road, she saw groups of men holding signs with the name of Polish cities written on them in Cyrillic.

“You might have heard the great solidarity from the Polish people, and you might be tempted to get into one of the cars parked on the side of the road before the laws were passed and before drivers were registered,” said Anna Dąbrowska, president of Homo Faber, a Polish human rights organisation, during a speech to LIBE and FEMM parliamentarians on 21 April.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/ukrainians-face-rape-trafficking-risk-while-those-in-poland-cannot-access-abortion/


Four disturbing aspects to Slovakia limiting abortion access for Ukrainian women

More reports about rapes by the Russian army against the Ukrainian girls and women who are arriving in Slovakia have been exposed. In the meantime, the Slovak parliament is discussing proposals on banning abortion for women without permanent residency. This cynical targeting of Ukrainian girls and women is disturbing, says Denisa Nešťáková.

22 April 2022
by Dr. Denisa Nešťáková

As more information on crimes perpetrated by the Russian army in Ukraine has been exposed, and more reports and testimonies on sexualised violence have been uncovered, the Slovak public has responded with horror. At first, society has been paralysed, but soon after, various NGOs started campaigns to collect and donate the so-called "morning-after" pills and abortion pills for Ukrainian girls and women raped and impregnated by Russian soldiers. Information on the availability of abortions in Slovakia was provided for them.

Continued: https://www.gwi-boell.de/en/2022/04/22/four-disturbing-aspects-slovakia-limiting-abortion-access-ukrainian-women