‘Necessary to Disobey Harmful Laws’: These ‘Abortion Pirates’ Want Equal Access to Abortion Pills Worldwide

A colorful crowd of doctors, researchers and women’s activists convened in the Latvian capital to explore ways to use pills to circumvent anti-abortion laws.

By EMILY SCHULTHEIS
11/26/2022

RIGA, Latvia — For two sunny, crisp autumn days in mid-September, Riga’s Stradiņš University felt like the epicenter of a self-styled global civil rights movement: to give every person, in every culture or country, regardless of laws, access to abortion pills.

In the hallways, women pored over posters showing the latest research on the effectiveness of abortion pills and other developments in abortion and contraception care. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies enthusiastically pitched their medications and products to doctors sipping coffee and tea during a break between panels. There were graphic novels about an at-home medical abortion and T-shirts printed with women’s self-stated reasons for ending a pregnancy; there were slogans printed on T-shirts like “Make Abortion Legal Again” and a video promoting abortion rights to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/11/26/global-abortion-rights-movement-latvia-00069224


After Roe, abortion’s underground railroad gains steam

A network of activists is helping women terminate pregnancies in countries where the procedure is banned.

BY CARLO MARTUSCELLI, EMILY SCHULTHEIS, MANDOLINE RUTKOWSKI AND JAKUB KORUS
OCTOBER 29, 2022

RIGA — If you want to get an abortion in Poland, Kinga Jelinska is happy to help. Legally terminating your pregnancy is almost impossible in the Eastern European country. Abortion is only allowed in the case of rape or incest, or when it threatens the life of the woman.

That’s where Jelinska comes in. She’s the co-founder and executive director of Women Help Women, an Amsterdam-based nonprofit that helps provide women with the pills needed for an at-home medical abortion. The service Jelinska’s group provides falls into a legal grey zone; self-induced abortion is illegal in a number of countries, but in Poland, it’s not explicitly banned. 

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/roe-v-wade-europe-abortion-pill-illegal-underground-network/


‘No matter the law, no matter the stigma, no matter the cost.’ This European network helps people access abortions

Story, photographs by Kara Fox
CNN Video by Ladan Anoushfar and Louis Leeson, CNN
Wed September 28, 2022

It’s early evening in an affluent neighborhood in the Dutch city of Haarlem and bed and breakfast owners Arnoud and Marika are waiting for their next guest to arrive. They’ve prepared their single room for her, a brightly colored space with massive windows overlooking a leafy drive.

The traveller is a woman from France. She’s only staying one night, but her hosts want her to feel at home because she’s not here on vacation. She’s come to have a second-trimester abortion.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/28/europe/europe-abortion-travel-as-equals-intl-cmd


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


Lessons from Poland, the other developed country curtailing abortion rights

By Gordon F. Sander
June 12, 2022

Last month, when Americans were stunned to learn of a draft Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, one group of people was less surprised: Polish abortion rights advocates.

“What happened with the Supreme Court is of course shocking but not a surprise to us,” said Kinga Jelinska, a member of the Polish abortion rights group Abortion Dream Team. She sees “a lot of parallels between what is happening in the U.S.” and in Poland.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/06/12/poland-abortion-rights-history/


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 the U.S. Could Learn from Abortion Without Borders

A coalition across Europe is resisting Poland’s abortion ban. Its strategy could foreshadow activism in a post-Roe America.

Anna Louie Sussman, The New Yorker
May 17, 2022

Last month, an abortion-rights activist named Justyna Wydrzyńska stood in a courtroom in Warsaw, Poland, and described her abortion. Her lips were painted a defiant red; her voice cracked at times, but she was unapologetic. When she was thirty-three, she said, she was in an abusive marriage and learned that she was pregnant. She struggled to find accurate information online and had to order three packs of abortion pills—the first two, from the black market, were duds. She was terrified that she would bleed out or fall unconscious in front of her three children, who were too young to call an ambulance. Wydrzyńska, who is forty-seven, is now part of a coalition of activists called Abortion Without Borders. She was on trial for helping another Polish woman get an abortion.

Abortion was legal when Poland was under Communist control, but, in 1993, the predominantly Catholic country outlawed most abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, severe fetal conditions, and risk to the life of the patient. As the U.S. Supreme Court considers Roe v. Wade and giving states the ability to ban abortion, the diverse, international coalition of Abortion Without Borders may model an effective approach to abortion-rights activism in a post-Roe America—and also its risks.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-the-us-could-learn-from-abortion-without-borders


Ukrainian refugees reignite abortion debate in Poland

Tuesday, 19 April 2022
By Liv Klingert

The controversial debate on abortion in Poland has been reignited following the arrival of Ukrainian women refugees who have been victims of sexual violence by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Under current restrictive abortion laws, it is uncertain whether women who become pregnant through rape and seek refuge in Poland can still have legal and safe abortions there, De Standaard reported.

Continued: https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/218090/ukrainian-refugees-ignite-abortion-debate-in-poland


A Polish woman is on trial for helping someone get an abortion. Here’s why it matters

Justyna Wydrzyńska faces up to three years in prison for trying to help a woman end her pregnancy. She says she's a cautionary tale for people in the United States.

April 15, 2022
By Danielle Campoamor

A woman in Poland is on trial for helping another woman access abortion care — and experts say her experience could foreshadow what could become more common in the United States as more states criminalize abortion.

Justyna Wydrzyńska, 47, faces up to three years in prison for giving another woman abortion pills — oral medications that stop and help the body pass an unwanted pregnancy. The pills are classified as "essential medicines" by the World Health Organization, and studies show they are safer than Viagra and Tylenol.

Continued: https://www.today.com/parents/pregnancy/polish-abortion-trial-rcna23831


Activist faces trial in Poland for aiding abortion

Justyna Wydrzyńska faces a three-year prison term for providing abortion-inducing tablets to a pregnant woman.

By Anna Koslerova, Al Jazeera
Published On 4 Apr 2022

Justyna Wydrzyńska, 47-year-old mother of three, who has been helping women access abortion for more than 15 years, is set to face trial in Poland this week for violating the country’s strict abortion law.

She could be imprisoned for a maximum of three years if found guilty of providing abortion-inducing tablets to a pregnant woman.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/4/pro-choice-activist-faces-trial-in-poland-for-aiding-abortion