Poland – How to Maneuver Around Acknowledging the Right to Access Abortion

Some Thoughts on the ECtHR’s judgment in M.L. v Poland

Written by Sissy Katsoni
January 11, 2024

On 14 December 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, Court) issued its much-awaited judgment in M.L. v Poland, i.e. in one of the approximately 1000 applications submitted before it regarding the Polish restrictive abortion policy. The application concerned the alleged violation of the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as she had to travel abroad to a private clinic to terminate her pregnancy despite carrying a foetus that was diagnosed with Trisomy 21. This barrier was a result of the legislative amendments that were introduced by the Polish Constitutional Court’s judgment of 22 October 2020, which effectively banned access to abortion even in cases of foetal abnormalities. This blog post seeks to highlight the shortcomings of the judgment against the background of other human rights bodies’ jurisprudence, and to criticise the Court’s manoeuvring around the explicit acknowledgement and stronger protection of abortion rights under the ECHR.

Continued: https://www.ejiltalk.org/how-to-maneuver-around-acknowledging-the-right-to-access-abortion-some-thoughts-on-the-ecthrs-judgment-in-m-l-v-poland/

Croatia: Mirela Čavajda: Rally in Support of Women Health Rights on Thursday 12th

By Jose Alfonso Cussianovich
9 May 2022

May 9, 2022 - Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman who requested an abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, had her request rejected by three hospitals in Zagreb. Donations from 1,472 citizens and 16 legal entities will cover Mirela's medical procedure that will take place in Slovenia.

The case of Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman whose request to have an abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor was rejected by three hospitals in Zagreb, has caused great outrage in the country, with demands for the reproductive rights and health rights of Croatian women to be respected.

Continued: https://www.total-croatia-news.com/lifestyle/62700-mirela-cavajda

Gibraltar votes to ease tough abortion laws

June 24, 2021

Gibraltar voted to relax its tough anti-abortion laws in a referendum on Thursday.

The tiny British territory has some of the harshest abortion laws in Europe - the penalty for breaching the law is life imprisonment.

Voters backed relaxing the rules to allow abortions where a woman's mental or physical health is at risk or when foetuses have fatal physical defects.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57606228

Irish couple to receive damages over advice that led to unnecessary abortion

Rebecca Price terminated pregnancy after being mistakenly told foetus had fatal abnormality

Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Wed 23 Jun 2021

A couple in Ireland are to be awarded damages for being mistakenly told their unborn baby had a fatal foetal abnormality, which led them to terminate the pregnancy.

The high court in Dublin will consider the damages to be paid to Rebecca Price and Patrick Kiely on Wednesday after medical personnel and institutions involved in the case admitted liability.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/23/irish-couple-to-receive-damages-over-advice-that-led-to-unnecessary-abortion

BBC’s ‘Three Families’ Shows How the Fight For Abortion Rights in the UK Continues

Sian Norris
14 May 2021

The BBC drama
Three Families told the story of the fight to decriminalise abortion in
Northern Ireland from the perspectives of three women, all based on real-life

The first focused on a mother who faced criminal prosecution for purchasing
abortion pills online for her 15-year-old daughter who was in an abusive
relationship. The second followed a woman whose baby had a fatal foetal
abnormality but was still forced to carry it to term. The final woman’s baby
also had a fatal foetal abnormality. She died in the womb and the mother was

Continued: https://bylinetimes.com/2021/05/14/bbcs-three-families-misses-the-point-that-fight-for-abortion-rights-in-the-uk-continues/

N. Ireland – Women must have choice of abortion, says TV star

Dublin actress takes part in a new BBC drama which explores the emotive subject

Maureen Coleman
May 03 2021

A lead actress in an upcoming BBC drama about abortion has said that services must be provided for women in Northern Ireland who feel that a termination is the right choice for them.

Bafta nominee Sinead Keenan, who stars in Three Families, said women must be afforded the right to choose.

Continued:  https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/film-tv/women-must-have-choice-of-abortion-says-tv-star-40380364.html

Northern Ireland’s women won abortion rights but its politicians won’t accept that

After Stormont voted to restrict abortion rights, Westminster is intervening to secure the services women are legally entitled to

Susan McKay
20 Mar 2021

Northern Ireland is no country for young women. Out of 87 members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) at Stormont last week, just 12 voted to allow women the right to choose abortion in line with international human rights standards. These are built into a law smuggled into NI while the institutions in Belfast were collapsed in acrimony in 2019, following an inspiring collective effort by local feminists and the British Labour MP Stella Creasy. Jubilant, proud, relieved and tearful, women stood at Stormont with banners that said, simply, “Decriminalised”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/20/northern-ireland-women-abortion-rights-stormont-westminster

Northern Ireland abortion law changes proposed by the DUP

By Jayne McCormack, BBC News NI Political Reporter
Feb 16, 2021

The DUP has proposed a new law to prevent abortions being carried out in NI in cases of non-fatal disabilities.

NI's abortion laws changed significantly last year following legislation passed at Westminster.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-politics-56041850

Bid to repeal aspect of North’s abortion laws tabled at Stormont

Bill targets provision that allows terminations up to birth in cases of serious disability

Tue, Feb 16, 2021

A legislative attempt to repeal an aspect of Northern Ireland’s recently-liberalised abortion laws has been formally tabled at Stormont.

The Private Members’ Bill in the name of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MLA Paul Givan targets a specific provision within the region’s abortion regulations that allows terminations up to birth in cases of serious non-fatal disabilities.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/bid-to-repeal-aspect-of-north-s-abortion-laws-tabled-at-stormont-1.4486483

Ireland – Anti-abortion TDs set up all-party group with aim to amend legislation

Group calls for pain relief to be given to foetuses with fatal abnormalities

Wed, Dec 2, 2020
Pat Leahy

Anti-abortion TDs have set up a new all-party group and will seek to amend the legislation on abortion when it comes up for review next year.

Independent TD Carol Nolan said the amendments were likely to require that pain relief be administered to foetuses in the case of late-term abortions carried out on the grounds of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/anti-abortion-tds-set-up-all-party-group-with-aim-to-amend-legislation-1.4425586