By Michael Daventry
In October, Poland became the only European Union country to remove a right to legal abortion from its citizens.
The country’s top court ruled on October 22 that it was unconstitutional to abort a foetus if it had congenital defects.
Angered and disappointed with the recent anti-abortion court ruling in her home country, a young Polish artist living in the Czech Republic is organising help for her compatriots.
Anja Vladisavljevic, Zagreb
November 9, 2020
“Sadness, big sadness, disappointment… and anger”: that's what a Polish artist residing in the Czech capital, Jolanta Nowaczyk, felt when she learnt last month about the anti-abortion court ruling in her home country.
Soon after the controversial court decision on October 22, which effectively outlaws abortion by banning terminations where the foetus is severely damaged or malformed, Nowaczyk organised a protest in front of the Polish embassy in Prague. But that was not the only action she took: Nowaczyk is now also launching an initiative that aims to help Polish women needing an abortion to come to the Czech Republic for the procedure.
Her baby could not possibly survive. Still they decided she should have it
Kasia Strek, Warsaw | Peter Conradi
Saturday November 07 2020
Sitting on a hard plastic seat in the corridor of the Bielanski Hospital in
north Warsaw last week, waiting for her abortion pill to take effect,
Malgorzata quietly recounted her struggle to get a termination for a foetal
abnomality in a country bitterly divided over the sanctity of unborn life.
While huge crowds have been on the streets to oppose a hardening of Poland’s already
strict abortion laws, Malgorzata has had to travel from hospital to hospital to
find one willing to help her.
It was six weeks ago, during the 12th week of her pregnancy, that the
34-year-old businesswoman learnt there was something wrong with the baby she
was carrying: it was too small, did not move much and there was an abnormality
in the jawbone.
Marta Bucholc, Maciej Komornik
6 November 2020
The abortion ruling of Poland’s politically servile Constitutional Tribunal was a debt repaid to Law and Justice’s rightwing Catholic constituency after its re-election last year. The reaction has been the biggest wave of demonstrations in the country since 1989. But the protest movement may be less of a threat to the government than conflicts within the rightwing alliance itself.
On 22 October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland ruled abortion on the grounds of foetal abnormality to be unconstitutional. This effectively eliminated the possibility for legal abortion. Of the 1110 pregnancies legally terminated in Poland in 2019, a very small number in any case, 97% were because of foetal abnormalities. Should the ruling take effect, it would mean that abortion will only be permitted if a pregnancy is a result of a crime (such as rape or incest), or if it poses a danger to the pregnant woman’s life or health. The doctors and other people soliciting or assisting the termination of a pregnancy for foetal abnormalities would be criminally liable.
The move came after two weeks of protests that were the most intense in the country since the 1989 collapse of communism.
By Monika Pronczuk
Nov. 4, 2020
BRUSSELS — Poland’s right-wing government has delayed implementation of a court ruling that would impose a near-total ban on abortions after two weeks of the largest protests the country has experienced since the 1989 collapse of communism.
The country already had one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws before its Constitutional Tribunal ruled on Oct. 22 that terminating pregnancies for fetal abnormalities — one of three justifications for legal abortions and virtually the only type performed in the country — violated the Constitution.
Nov 03, 2020
WARSAW — Poland needs a period of calm to discuss a ruling by the highest court that bans most abortions, a government spokesman said after the measure did not take effect on Monday as expected following two weeks of mass protests.
Widespread outrage among women and others greeted the Oct. 22 ruling which bans terminations due to fetal defects, ending one of the few legal grounds left for abortion in a staunchly Roman Catholic country with a deeply conservative government.
Poland's right-wing government is delaying the publication and implementation of a court ruling that tightens the abortion law
By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press
3 November 2020
WARSAW, Poland -- Poland’s right-wing government is delaying the publication and implementation of a high court ruling that tightens the abortion law and that has triggered almost two weeks of nationwide protests.
A government official said Tuesday that the leaders are taking time to debate the contested ruling and find a solution.
Anti-government rallies continue over court’s ruling to restrict access to terminations
Shaun Walker, Central and eastern Europe correspondent
Tue 3 Nov 2020
Poland’s rightwing government has delayed implementation of a controversial court ruling that would outlaw almost all abortion after it prompted the largest protests since the fall of communism.
“There is a discussion going on, and it would be good to take some time for dialogue and for finding a new position in this situation, which is difficult and stirs high emotions,” Michał Dworczyk, the head of the prime minister’s office, told Polish media on Tuesday.
by Emma Reynolds, CNN
Sun November 1, 2020
(CNN)The Abortion Dream Team usually receives about 400 calls a month, from women seeking advice and information. Last week, the Polish advocacy group had 700 in the space of three days, according to team member Justyna Wydrzynska.
Some came from women who had just arrived at hospital to have abortions because of fetal defects -- only to be told to go home after Poland's highest court on October 22 imposed a near-total ban on abortion.
The passion behind the demonstrations signifies a battle for basic democratic standards in a world of creeping authoritarian temptations.
by Maria Skóra
30th October 2020
On October 22nd, the Constitutional Court in Poland made an unprecedented decision, declaring abortion due to foetal defects unconstitutional. Because around 90 per cent of all legal abortions in the country are performed on this criterion, upon entering into force this ruling will in practice drastically limit access to safe termination of pregnancy. It stands in opposition to medical science and to the will of the majority of the population, which—according to the polls—supports the existing abortion regime, already one of the strictest in Europe.
This battle started as early as 2016, with ‘pro-life’ associations lobbying the parliament for an amendment to the law. They failed then but the change has now effectively been introduced by the Constitutional Court. The new status quo is not only controversial on its merits but also because the court’s judicial neutrality, vis-à-vis the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS), has long been questioned.