Polish activist says she won’t stop swearing after guilty ruling

Sept 23, 2023

Julia Landowska never thought of herself as a crusader for free speech until she got a $15 fine for swearing in public during a protest against Poland’s strict abortion laws.

Ms. Landowska is a 23-year-old medical student in Gdansk and rarely paid much attention to politics until October, 2020, when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling that banned access to abortion in all circumstances except cases of sexual assault or incest or if the woman’s life or health were at risk. The decision prompted widespread demonstrations against the populist Law and Justice party, or PiS, which has been accused of politicizing the tribunal.

Continued: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-polish-anti-abortion-activist-says-she-wont-stop-swearing-after-guilty/

“Undress, Squat, Cough” — Police In Poland Ramp Up The Abortion Crackdown

Poland, known for having some of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws, only allows the procedure in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. But even when abortions are performed legally, women can be met with criminal accusations from the police.

Dominika Wantuch
July 19, 2023

KRAKOW — Poland's conservative government has made restricting abortion access a guiding pillar since returning to power in 2015. Now that appears to include orders to police to detain women seeking access to terminate a pregnancy in the case of health risks, one of the few exceptions to the strict national abortion ban.

One Polish woman, identified as "Joanna" told police this week that police detained her, saying she had been pressured into having an abortion. She had purchased abortion pills on her own volition after health problems, and had decided to take them, which is not punishable in Poland.

Continued: https://worldcrunch.com/culture-society/poland-abortion-police-crackdown

Europe’s growing abortion nightmare

Even in the absence of a ban, for women in need of abortion access, the overall picture is grim — and the worst is yet to come.

JULY 1, 2023
Reporting for this article was carried out by Akmaljon Akhmedjonov, Bernadeta Barokova, Yijing Chen, Pius Fozan, Timotheus Paul Goldinger, Kristina Kovalska, Leila Lawrence, Hanna Perenyi, Carina Samhaber, Stephanie Songer, Marziyeh Taeb, Tripti and Joseph Scioli, masters and PhD students at the Central European University in Vienna, under the editorship of Professor Marius Dragomir.

When she was 19 years old, Anna Peer had an abortion after her intrauterine device malfunctioned. “I didn’t realize at the time how lucky and privileged I was,” said Peer, now 24. “My gynecologist basically carried me through everything.”

But through her work for the Austrian Family Planning Association (ÖGF), an NGO that provides counseling related to reproductive health, Peer now sees “what the system’s actually like.”

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/europes-growing-abortion-nightmare/

Lawyer unfazed by Poland abortion rights case defeat at ECHR

Polish women challenging Warsaw's abortion laws at the European Court of Human Rights had their cases dismissed, but many more are still to come.

Ella Joyner in Brussels
Jun 8, 2023

A Polish lawyer who oversaw the case of eight women challenging their country’s abortion laws at the European Court of Human Rights told DW she was undeterred after their complaints were deemed inadmissible on Thursday.

"We were quite aware that the court might not agree with us at this point," Kamila Ferenc, a lawyer and vice-president of the Polish Foundation for Women and Family Planning (FEDERA), told DW on the phone.

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/lawyer-unfazed-by-poland-abortion-rights-case-defeat-at-echr/a-65862834

European rights court rejects first case by Polish women claiming to be victims of abortion law

JUN 8, 2023
Notes from Poland

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a complaint by eight Polish women who claimed to be victims of their country’s recently introduced near-total ban on abortion. Around 1,000 such cases have been submitted to the ECHR, and this is the first time it has ruled on one.

“The court found that the applicants had failed to provide any convincing medical evidence proving that they had been at real risk of being directly affected by [the abortion law],” said the ECHR in a statement announcing today’s decision.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2023/06/08/european-rights-court-rejects-first-case-by-polish-women-claiming-to-be-victims-of-abortion-law/

Ireland – Ivana Bacik: How abortion campaign went from ‘desperately lonely’ to ‘tremendously positive’

On a political level, there was very little to cling to as an abortion activist in the 80s and 90s, she says, and religion of course played a large part in that.

May 27, 2023

LABOUR LEADER IVANA Bacik spoke to The Journal about how the route to abortion rights went from being a “desperately lonely” movement on the periphery of society to becoming a mainstream political issue.

The subject of access to abortion stills holds the public’s attention today with a recent review finding that issues such as geographic location, the three-day waiting period and other obstacles still impede women’s access to abortion services.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/ivana-bacik-interview-abortion-rights-ireland-6077186-May2023/

Serbian women face femicide, abortion ban

By Aleksandra Vrbica | EURACTIV.rs
May 14, 2023

Serbian women face a range of issues, including the narrative of an abortion ban which is gaining momentum and 18 femicides so far in 2023, the latest occurring after the victim acquired a restraining order against the perpetrator.

During 2022, the number of femicides (26) increased compared to 2021 (21) and the latest incident in Novi Sad shows that measures designed to protect women, such as protection orders, are not effective.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/serbian-women-face-femicide-abortion-ban/

Artist on trial in Poland for offending religious feelings with abortion protest painting

MAR 23, 2023
Notes from Poland

A Polish-Dutch artist is going on trial for a second time over a painting showing a crucifix entering a woman’s vagina. Its creator, Krzysztof Soroka, was already last year convicted of “offending religious feelings” – a crime in Poland that carries a prison sentence of up to two years – for the same image.

The painting is intended as criticism of the church’s support for a near-total abortion ban introduced in 2021. It was created in the context of the mass protests that erupted in Poland in 2020 after the constitutional court issued the ruling that led to that ban.
Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2023/03/23/artist-on-trial-in-poland-for-offending-religious-feelings-with-abortion-protest-painting/

German abortion clinics targeted by US-style protests

Protests outside abortion clinics and family planning centers are underway in Germany. Reproductive rights advocates point to the influence of US money and tactics on the anti-abortion movement in Germany and Europe.

Helen Whittle
Mar 4, 2023

In the early afternoon on a gray and windy Friday in February, a dozen protesters from EuroProLife slowly began to appear opposite the Pro Familia family planning advice and counseling center in Frankfurt's Westend.

Clutching hymn sheets and rosaries, they chanted the Hail Mary prayer. Some held placards bearing images of smiling babies or a tiny clenched fist with the slogans "Unborn Lives Matter" and "Abortion Is Not a Solution."

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/german-abortion-clinics-targeted-by-us-style-protests/a-64877764

Is Europe next? Concerns over abortion rights rise after Supreme Court overturns Roe

“The fact it’s become a talking point is a massive step forward. Whatever anyone’s views are on abortion, it’s not helpful if we can’t talk about it,” one abortion rights opponent said.

Aug. 7, 2022
By Patrick Smith

LONDON — Abortion rights opponents have long been stuck on the fringes of politics in much of Western Europe. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has many in the movement hoping that is about to change.

That abortion was thrust into the headlines and onto the agenda has been a big step forward, said Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a co-director of March for Life U.K., an annual event in September in London.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/europe-concerns-abortion-rights-rise-supreme-court-overturns-roe-rcna38651