Poland’s ban on abortion forces many to seek help in Germany

A Berlin-based activist group seeks to aid the rising number of women seeking help with abortion in Poland.

By Gouri Sharma
Published On 8 Aug 2022

For Zuzu*, an activist with the Berlin-based group Ciocia Basia that assists people seeking an abortion in neighbouring Poland, fielding calls is just one of many responsibilities she carries out.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Zuzu and other activists working with partner organisation Abortion Without Borders (AWB) told Al Jazeera that the number of calls they are receiving has increased.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/8/8/polands-ban-on-abortion-forces-many-to-seek-help-in-germany


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


A woman faces 3 years in prison for sending abortion pills in Poland. Her case may signal what’s to come in the US.

Anna Medaris
Jul 13, 2022

An activist is facing up to three years in prison for sending abortion medication in Poland, where the procedure is illegal except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother's life, Vice World News reported. 

The woman, 47-year-old Justyna Wydrzyńska, is a doula and one of the founders of Abortion Dream Team, which provides education and support for people seeking abortions in Poland.

Continued: https://www.insider.com/woman-faces-3-years-prison-for-sending-abortion-pills-poland-2022-7


Poland has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Izabela Sajbor’s family say those laws are responsible for her death

By Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell, CNN
Wed June 29, 2022

Warsaw, Poland (CNN) Izabela Sajbor knew for weeks that the baby she was carrying was unlikely to live long. On September 22 last year, she realized both their fates were sealed.

"I hope I won't get sepsis because then I won't leave this place," the 30-year-old wrote in a series of distraught text messages to her mother, just 12 hours before she died.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/28/europe/poland-abortion-law-izabela-sajbor-death-intl-cmd/index.html


Poland – She Sent a Woman Abortion Pills. Now She Faces 3 Years in Prison.

Justyna Wydrzyńska is the first activist charged under Poland’s incredibly strict abortion laws. She tells VICE World News it won't stop her helping people who need abortions.

By Ruby Lott-Lavigna
June 16, 2022

WARSAW, Poland – The woman said she needed an abortion. She said she had already tried to leave Poland to get one, but her abusive husband had stopped her, threatening to go to the police. Across the world, a new virus was closing borders, restricting travel and trapping people inside their homes, and Justyna Wydrzyńska, sensing a chilling desperation, decided to send the woman a packet of abortion pills that she’d been keeping for her own personal use.

A year passed. Then out of nowhere, police arrived at Wydrzyńska’s door to search her home – some officers finding more than they anticipated.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en/article/akezek/poland-abortion-justyna-wydrzynska


Poland shows the risks for women when abortion is banned

Katrin Bennhold, Monika Pronczuk
14.06.2022

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.

Continued: https://www.ekathimerini.com/nytimes/1186635/poland-shows-the-risks-for-women-when-abortion-is-banned/


Poland, with near-total abortion ban, to record pregnancies

The right-wing government in Poland, where a near-total abortion ban is in place, now faces accusations it is creating a “pregnancy register.”

By Vanessa Gera, Associated Press
June 06, 2022

WARSAW, Poland -- The government of Poland, where a near-total abortion ban is in place, faced accusations Monday of creating a “pregnancy register” as the country expands the amount of medical data being digitally saved on patients.

Women's rights advocates and opposition politicians fear women face unprecedented surveillance given the conservative views of a ruling party that has already tightened what was one of Europe's most restrictive abortion laws.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/poland-abortion-banned-register-pregnancies-85214771


How women are resisting Poland’s abortion ban

By Costanza Spocci
26 May 2022

Warsaw, Poland – On a cold, hazy December morning, the Ryz sisters stand on a sidewalk of a busy street in Warsaw.

“Shall we go to church?” 24-year-old Olympia asks her sister, Melania, grinning and holding up a dozen pink, yellow and grey stickers with the words, “Abortion is OK”, and the hotline numbers and social media profiles of Polish pro-choice organisations.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/longform/2022/5/26/how-women-are-resisting-polands-abortion-ban


What Could A Post-Roe Future Look Like? Poland Offers A Glimpse

May 24, 2022
15-Minute Podcast, NPR (transcript available)

Dozens of states could soon take steps to ban or restrict abortion. But there are a lot of unanswered questions about how those laws would be enforced if they vary from state to state, Kim Mutcherson tells NPR. That patchwork of laws is the most likely outcome if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, leaving the U.S. without a federally-protected right to abortion.

That's the reality in Poland, where abortion is almost entirely illegal. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on an underground network of reproductive rights activists who risk prison time to help abortion patients.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/18/1099826970/what-could-a-post-roe-future-look-like-poland-offers-a-glimpse


Millions of Ukrainians are arriving to a battle over abortion rights in Poland

May 20, 2022
Ari Shapiro, Elena Burnett, Courtney Dorning|
11-minute podcast with transcript

Ukraine has very liberal abortion laws. In Poland, it is almost entirely illegal. Millions of Ukrainians discovered this when they fled the war in their home country and crossed the Polish border.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Imagine stepping across a border and discovering that reproductive rights you once took for granted are now a crime. For millions of Ukrainians, that discovery happened when they fled the war in their home country and set foot here in Poland. Ukraine has very liberal abortion laws. In Poland, it's almost entirely illegal. But while Poland's anti-abortion effort has the weight of the government behind it, there is another movement, one that's secretive, underground and punishable with prison time. You see it right here on the border if you know where to look.

Continued:  https://www.npr.org/2022/05/20/1100476995/millions-of-ukrainians-are-arriving-to-a-battle-over-abortion-rights-in-poland