Poland – Denying Access to Abortion Is Femicide

In Poland, a country held ransom by religious fanatics, people don’t want to see more women suffer from denied abortion care.

1/6/2023
by IRENE DONADIO and MARTA LEMPART

It has been just over two years since the imposition of a near-total ban on abortion across Poland. The ban removed almost all conditions in which a woman can access abortion care, leaving millions of women in the dark when it comes to deciding what happens to their bodies.

For some women, continuing to carry their pregnancies is the most dangerous thing they can do. Even though Poland’s rigid laws state that abortion can be performed to save women’s health or life, many doctors refuse to give them to women who desperately need them. 

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2023/01/06/poland-abortion-ban-women-death-dying/


Poland: Lawmaker Faces Charges for Pro-Choice Protest

Targeting MP Escalates Attacks on Women’s Rights, Free Speech

December 4, 2022

(Berlin) – Poland’s government should immediately drop charges against a member of parliament who participated in a pro-choice protest and stop targeting reproductive rights activists, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 29, 2022, the Toruń prosecutor’s office charged Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a member of the Left (Lewica) party, with “offending religious feelings” and “malicious interference with religious worship.” Each offense carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. She pleaded not guilty.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/04/poland-lawmaker-faces-charges-pro-choice-protest


‘Necessary to Disobey Harmful Laws’: These ‘Abortion Pirates’ Want Equal Access to Abortion Pills Worldwide

A colorful crowd of doctors, researchers and women’s activists convened in the Latvian capital to explore ways to use pills to circumvent anti-abortion laws.

By EMILY SCHULTHEIS
11/26/2022

RIGA, Latvia — For two sunny, crisp autumn days in mid-September, Riga’s Stradiņš University felt like the epicenter of a self-styled global civil rights movement: to give every person, in every culture or country, regardless of laws, access to abortion pills.

In the hallways, women pored over posters showing the latest research on the effectiveness of abortion pills and other developments in abortion and contraception care. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies enthusiastically pitched their medications and products to doctors sipping coffee and tea during a break between panels. There were graphic novels about an at-home medical abortion and T-shirts printed with women’s self-stated reasons for ending a pregnancy; there were slogans printed on T-shirts like “Make Abortion Legal Again” and a video promoting abortion rights to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/11/26/global-abortion-rights-movement-latvia-00069224


Poland’s de facto abortion ban risks lives, says MEP

By Clara Bauer-Babef and Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com
Nov 18, 2022

While technically allowed in some cases, abortion in Poland may as well be forbidden, putting women’s lives at risk, said Robert Biedron, EU lawmaker and leader of the Polish opposition party Nowa Lewica on Thursday (17 November).

Two years ago, Poland’s constitutional court approved a highly-restrictive new law that de facto banned abortion. Only 107 legal abortions were performed in 2021, approximately 90% less than in previous years, according to figures published by the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/polands-de-facto-abortion-ban-risks-lives-says-mep/


Abortion without Borders: How Feminists and Anarchists Defy Polish Anti-Abortion Laws

2022-11-14

In Poland, abortion has been almost completely prohibited since 2020. Nevertheless, a network of anarchists and other feminists strives to ensure that those who need abortions can access them, legally or not. Now that abortion has been prohibited throughout many of the United States, as well, people in North America stand to gain from the experience of those who have already been confronting this situation for years. To learn how Polish activists use direct action and mutual aid to keep abortion accessible, we interviewed participants in this network.

Maintaining widespread access to abortion—legal or not—is crucial to saving lives and preserving the autonomy of those targeted by patriarchal power structures. It is also an essential part of the struggle to legalize abortion. As we argued in June, after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade,

Continued: https://crimethinc.com/2022/11/14/abortion-without-borders-how-feminists-and-anarchists-defy-polish-anti-abortion-laws-1


After Roe, abortion’s underground railroad gains steam

A network of activists is helping women terminate pregnancies in countries where the procedure is banned.

BY CARLO MARTUSCELLI, EMILY SCHULTHEIS, MANDOLINE RUTKOWSKI AND JAKUB KORUS
OCTOBER 29, 2022

RIGA — If you want to get an abortion in Poland, Kinga Jelinska is happy to help. Legally terminating your pregnancy is almost impossible in the Eastern European country. Abortion is only allowed in the case of rape or incest, or when it threatens the life of the woman.

That’s where Jelinska comes in. She’s the co-founder and executive director of Women Help Women, an Amsterdam-based nonprofit that helps provide women with the pills needed for an at-home medical abortion. The service Jelinska’s group provides falls into a legal grey zone; self-induced abortion is illegal in a number of countries, but in Poland, it’s not explicitly banned. 

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/roe-v-wade-europe-abortion-pill-illegal-underground-network/


Abortion Without Borders helps almost 80,000 people access abortions in place of the Polish state

Thursday, October 20, 2022
Abortion Without Borders / Women Help Women

Two years on from Poland’s decision to effectively ban abortion, members of Abortion Without Borders have supported 78,000 people from Poland to access abortions safely.

In the last year, AWB has helped 44,000 people, with more than 1,200 able to terminate their pregnancies in the second trimester in clinics in other European countries.

Continued: https://womenhelp.org/en/page/1498/abortion-without-borders-helps-almost-80-000-people-access-abortions


Polish activist on trial for aiding abortion

A Polish human rights activist has been accused of illegally giving abortion pills to a woman seeking to end a pregnancy. She's now on trial in a Warsaw court, facing up to three years in prison.

Monika Sieradzka
Oct 18, 2022

It's a gray morning in Warsaw, where a couple dozen police officers have encircled the courthouse with 10 large vehicles. They are here to protect two large demonstrations at what is expected to be a spectacular trial.

Some 50 people have gathered in front of the building in the Polish capital to show their solidarity with Justyna Wydrzynska, a 48-year-old activist from the Abortion Dream Team network who stands accused of aiding and abetting a pregnancy termination. That's against the law in Poland, and carries a sentence of up three years in prison.

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/poland-activist-on-trial-in-warsaw-for-aiding-abortion/a-63483151


I won’t stop, says Polish abortion activist as court hearing adjourned

By Joanna Plucinska and Anna Koper
October 14, 2022

WARSAW, Oct 14 (Reuters) - A court on Friday adjourned a hearing on whether a prominent activist broke Polish law by supplying pills to trigger an abortion, as she pledged to continue helping women terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Along with Malta, Poland's anti-abortion laws are among the most restrictive in Europe, and campaigner Justyna Wydrzynska faces up to three years in jail if convicted of facilitating a termination.

Her case, which rights group Amnesty International and campaigners say is the first of its kind in Europe, was adjourned until January after key witnesses failed to appear.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/i-wont-stop-says-polish-abortion-activist-court-hearing-adjourned-2022-10-14/


‘No matter the law, no matter the stigma, no matter the cost.’ This European network helps people access abortions

Story, photographs by Kara Fox
CNN Video by Ladan Anoushfar and Louis Leeson, CNN
Wed September 28, 2022

It’s early evening in an affluent neighborhood in the Dutch city of Haarlem and bed and breakfast owners Arnoud and Marika are waiting for their next guest to arrive. They’ve prepared their single room for her, a brightly colored space with massive windows overlooking a leafy drive.

The traveller is a woman from France. She’s only staying one night, but her hosts want her to feel at home because she’s not here on vacation. She’s come to have a second-trimester abortion.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/28/europe/europe-abortion-travel-as-equals-intl-cmd