Katrin Bennhold, Monika Pronczuk
It was shortly before 11 p.m. when Izabela Sajbor realized the doctors were prepared to let her die. Her doctor had already told her that her fetus had severe abnormalities and would almost certainly die in the womb. If it made it to term, life expectancy was a year, at most. At 22 weeks pregnant, Sajbor had been admitted to a hospital after her water broke prematurely.
She knew that there was a short window to induce birth or surgically remove the fetus to avert infection and potentially fatal sepsis. But even as she developed a fever, vomited and convulsed on the floor, it seemed to be the baby’s heartbeat that the doctors were most concerned about.
October’s court ruling outlaws abortions even in the case of foetal abnormalities
May 8, 2021
Derek Scally in Berlin
Justyna Wydrzynska draws an exhausted breath before describing her long days assisting the Polish women who call her each day for help.
A member of the ironically titled Abortion Dream Team, a collective which helps Polish women secure terminations abroad, Ms Wydrzynska said the women who reached her were living in a waking nightmare.
Malgorzata Tomczak, Warsaw
November 30, 2020
In the past, the problems of the country’s constitutional court were seen as complex and detached from people’s daily lives. Until now that is, when they started to impact on the most private and sensitive areas of Polish women’s lives.
With its recent legal attempt to put further limits on abortion, the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has created a constitutional crisis that will be hard to resolve. And its reckless actions are already impacting on Polish women’s lives.
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 3, 2020
The main organisers of ongoing demonstrations against an anti-abortion ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal have unveiled a set of political demands.
All-Poland Women’s Strike (Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet, OSK), a social movement, has been the primary force behind what are believed to be the largest protests in Poland since the fall of communism in 1989. Its red lightning bolt logo has become the demonstrators main symbol.
Curbing access to procedure a long-standing ambition of country's ruling party
Posted: Oct 22, 2020
Protesters gathered across Poland on Thursday after the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortion due to fetal defects was unconstitutional, banning the most common of the few legal grounds for ending a pregnancy in the largely Catholic country.
After the ruling goes into effect, abortion will only be permissible in Poland in cases of rape, incest or when a mother's health and life are in danger, which make up only about two per cent of legal terminations conducted in recent years.
Monika Scislowska, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, October 22, 2020
WARSAW, POLAND -- Poland's top court ruled Thursday that a law allowing abortion of fetuses with congenital defects is unconstitutional, shutting a major loophole in the predominantly Catholic country's abortion laws that are among the strictest in Europe.
Two judges in the 13-member constitutional Court did not back the majority ruling. Activists deplored the decision, and the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner wrote on Twitter that it was a "sad day for women's rights."
October 22, 2020
Poland's top court has ruled that abortions in cases of foetal defects are unconstitutional.
Poland's abortion laws were already among the strictest in Europe but the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling will mean an almost total ban.
Once the decision comes into effect, terminations will only be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother's health is at risk.
Constitutional court’s ruling could pave way for governing PiS party to move ahead with legislative ban
Thu 22 Oct 2020
Poland’s constitutional tribunal has ruled that abortion due to foetal defects is unconstitutional, rejecting the most common of the few legal grounds for pregnancy termination in the predominantly Catholic country.
chief justice, Julia Przyłębska, said in a ruling that existing legislation –
one of Europe’s most restrictive – that allows for the abortion of malformed
foetuses was “incompatible” with the constitution.
The decision, which cannot be appealed, halts pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type currently performed in the country.
By Monika Pronczuk
Oct. 22, 2020
A constitutional tribunal in Poland ruled on Thursday that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the country’s Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban in a nation that already had some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.
The debate over a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, a divisive issue in a staunchly Roman Catholic country, mirrors the bitter polarization of a society caught between traditional religious values and more liberal ones.