Polish activist Justyna Wydrzyńska is the first woman in Europe to be convicted of “intent to aid” an abortion. For the first time, the woman she helped, Ania, tells the story of her desperate quest to end her pregnancy.
By Rebecca Grant
April 18, 2023
On March 14, 2023, the Polish activist Justyna Wydrzyńska was convicted of “intent to aid” an abortion. Wydrzyńska is a prominent abortion rights activist in Poland, and in February 2020, she was contacted by Ania (a pseudonym), a woman who was desperate for help accessing medication abortion. Ania’s situation was tragic and complicated, and Wydrzyńska was moved by her pleas. She had a pack of abortion pills in her home and sent it to Ania via a courier service, but before Ania could take them, her partner discovered the pills and reported it to the police.
Wydrzyńska was charged in late 2021 and her trial dragged on for a year. With the guilty verdict, she became the first activist in Europe convicted for this type of crime. Her case has attracted international attention, in part because it reflected a new frontier in abortion prosecutions—targeting activists. During the trial, vague details about Ania, and what inspired Wydrzyńska to mail her the pills, filtered out, but Ania has never gone on the record to share what led her to ask for help.
In this exclusive US interview with The Nation, Ania tells her story publicly, in her own words, for the first time. It’s a story of determination, of fear, of solidarity, of loneliness, and of gratitude. It’s also a story of the visceral harm that abortion bans inflict on women, and the lengths people will go to end pregnancies they cannot carry. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
A little more than three years ago, my whole life and opinions and worldviews changed completely. I would never have suspected that I would have an unwanted pregnancy and would have taken the decision to terminate it. This way of thinking lasted until the day of [my own experience].
Longer full story from Abortion Dream Team: https://preview.mailerlite.io/emails/webview/90350/85793279289852940