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’s abortion underground: with backstreet clinics no more, pills become new battleground

JUN 13, 2022
by Anna Gmiterek-Zabłocka, Radio TOK FM

The days of illegal – and often unsafe – abortions in backstreet clinics are long gone. Instead, a host of NGOs and activists help women obtain self-administered abortion pills, noting that the recent near-total abortion ban has increased awareness and interest in such service. That has led to a backlash from conservative groups, who are calling for the law to be toughened to prevent and more severely punish the distribution of such pills.

It is not difficult to find adverts online for gynaecologists who offer “discreet”, “safe” services “without problems”. Probably for legal reasons, the word “abortion” does not appear. We called one of the numbers.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2022/06/13/polands-abortion-underground-with-backstreet-clinics-no-more-pills-become-new-battleground/


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


Polish woman is first activist to face trial for violating strict abortion law

Justyna Wydrzyńska, who gave a woman experiencing domestic violence miscarriage-inducing pills, could be jailed for three years

Weronika Strzyżyńska
Mon 28 Mar 2022

The first pro-choice activist to be charged in Poland for breaking the country’s strict abortion law by providing miscarriage-inducing tablets to a pregnant woman is due to face trial next week.

Justyna Wydrzyńska, from the Polish group Aborcyjny Dream Team (ADT), is charged with illegally aiding an abortion and faces up to three years in prison if she is found guilty.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/mar/28/polish-woman-is-first-to-face-trial-for-violating-strict-abortion-law


Abortion Without Borders helps more than 34,000 people in Poland access abortions

Published on October 21, 2021

A year ago – on 22 October 2020 – a Polish Constitutional Court decided
that the provision of abortion in case of foetal malformation was
unconstitutional. While the decision didn’t come into force until 27 January
2021, the change happened immediately. The next day, despite the still-valid
provision of abortion under Poland’s abortion act, the first four people
refused abortion in Polish hospitals called Abortion Without Borders for help.

Over the past 12 months Abortion Without Borders groups have helped 34,000
people from Poland to access abortion. 1080 people were able to terminate their
pregnancy in a foreign clinic in the second trimester. Financial support given
was more than 700,000 zloty/ £129,000/ €153,000.

Continued: https://www.asn.org.uk/abortion-without-borders-helps-more-than-34000-people-in-poland-access-abortions/


A major battle is brewing over abortion rights in Poland

Dec 19, 2020

By Malcolm Brabant, Ivette Feliciano
Video – 9:21 minutes

A major battle is underway over abortion rights in Poland. The country’s constitutional court, whose legitimacy has been questioned by some, has made it even harder for Polish women to get abortions. The move has been condemned by the European Parliament and human rights groups like Amnesty International. Special Correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports from the capital Warsaw.

Read the Full Transcript

Continued: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-major-battle-is-brewing-over-abortion-rights-in-poland


Abortion Without Borders helps more than 5,000 people in Poland in first year

Celebrates with billboards advertising their service in Warsaw

Thursday, December 10, 2020, Warsaw
Aborcja Bez Granic / Abortion Without Borders

Abortion Without Borders helps more than 5,000 people in Poland in first year; celebrates with billboards advertising their service in Warsaw.

The Abortion Without Borders initiative has helped more than 5,000 people in Poland since its launch one year ago. The group has provided pregnancy options counselling, information about safe abortion with pills in Poland, and funding and practical support for abortion outside Poland. To celebrate, the group has engaged billboards in Warsaw advertising their organisation and will hold a press conference in Warsaw at 11 am local time. In their first year, Abortion Without Borders has:

Continued: https://womenhelp.org/en/page/1265/abortion-without-borders-helps-more-than-5-000-people-in-poland-in


Polish pro-choice campaigner helps women bypass abortion law

Issued on: 31/10/2020

Seven years ago, Natalia Broniarczyk had an abortion despite stringent Polish legislation against it.

Now, she is helping other women do the same and taking part in mass protests against a further tightening of an already highly restrictive law.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20201031-polish-pro-choice-campaigner-helps-women-bypass-abortion-law


Abortion activists in Poland fret as coronavirus curbs access

Abortion activists in Poland fret as coronavirus curbs access

Alicja Ptak, Reuters
March 21, 2020

WARSAW — Natalia Broniarczyk, an activist with a charity that assists Polish women who want to terminate pregnancies, says its hot line began ringing non-stop after the government announced border closures to stem the coronavirus outbreak last week.

Many callers were worried about their shipments of abortion pills, which are illegal in Poland, and others feared they would not be able to reach clinics abroad in time to have the procedure, which is unavailable in Poland in most cases.

Continued: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/health-pmn/abortion-activists-in-poland-fret-as-coronavirus-curbs-access


Poland – How to Make Abortion Great Again

How to Make Abortion Great Again

Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union, and in practice, it's all but banned. But four women, nicknamed the "Abortion Dream Team," are pushing back, holding workshops around the country teaching women how to obtain and self-manage a medical abortion. With Roe v. Wade at risk of being overturned in the U.S., is their story a cautionary tale, or a possible roadmap for American women?

By Anna Louie Sussman
Nov 4, 2019

On a rainy day in May, in the Polish coastal city of Gdańsk, in a high-ceilinged room on the second floor of an unremarkable building, 16 women and five men sat in mismatched office chairs around a long table, waiting to learn how to administer a medical abortion. Before the workshop began in earnest, one of the speakers, Karolina Więckiewicz, turned to a bald, bearded man on her left, whose papers spread out in front of him suggested he might be from a prosecutor’s office, and asked him to stop recording.

Continued: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a28690537/abortion-dream-team-poland/