Lawyer unfazed by Poland abortion rights case defeat at ECHR

Polish women challenging Warsaw's abortion laws at the European Court of Human Rights had their cases dismissed, but many more are still to come.

Ella Joyner in Brussels
Jun 8, 2023

A Polish lawyer who oversaw the case of eight women challenging their country’s abortion laws at the European Court of Human Rights told DW she was undeterred after their complaints were deemed inadmissible on Thursday.

"We were quite aware that the court might not agree with us at this point," Kamila Ferenc, a lawyer and vice-president of the Polish Foundation for Women and Family Planning (FEDERA), told DW on the phone.


Refugees return to Ukraine due to reproductive, sexual challenges

By Aleksandra Krzysztoszek |
May 16, 2023

Ukrainian refugees are temporarily returning home to receive sexual and reproductive healthcare after finding their options limited in Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, while others seek illegal solutions, according to a study published by the Centre for Reproductive Rights.

A study published on Tuesday, the work of nine international human rights organisations documents the alarming impact that restrictive national laws have on refugees seeking essential care and support.


What U.S. women can learn from Poland’s recent abortion restrictions

"It may be difficult to get abortions in Poland, but we have our ways," Polish feminist Krystyna Kacpura says.

May 16, 2022
By Lauren Egan and Corky Siemaszko

WARSAW, Poland — Americans fearing the worst if the Supreme Court repeals Roe v. Wade could look to the Poles for tips about how to fight for abortion rights and find ways around harsh government-imposed restrictions.

Poland, along with Malta, has the strictest abortion restrictions in Europe. It is allowed only in cases of rape, which are difficult to document, or when the life of the woman is endangered. And anyone helping a woman get the procedure for any other reason, including by prescribing pregnancy-terminating medication, could be charged with a crime — similar to what’s already happening in Texas, said Venny Ala-Siurua of Women on Web, an international online abortion service that has been helping women around the world, including thousands in Poland.


Poland: “Not One More”. One year after the illegitimate abortion ban

Feb 9, 2022

One year after the illegitimate ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal
Federa will not leave any woman alone

One year has passed since the most brutal attack on women’s rights in modern Polish history. A year of pain, terror, and suffering for thousands of women.

From the very announcement of the ruling of the flawed Constitutional Tribunal the Federation for Women and Family Planning has warned that the ban on abortion would result in the deaths of patients and, unfortunately, our predictions came true.


Abortion Politics in Poland

A Conversation About the Constitutional Tribunal’s Decision With Wanda Nowicka, Member of The Polish Parliament & SRHM Editorial Advisory Board

11 NOVEMBER, 2020
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters – Advocacy Blog
(13 minute video)

On 22 October 2020, the Polish government ruled in favour of a near total ban on abortions – even though the country already had one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. The ban would apply to cases of severe fetal anomaly which account for 98% of abortions carried out in Poland.

The controversial court ruling sparked the largest protests the country has seen since the fall of communism in 1989.

To learn more about what is happening in Poland, Eszter Kismődi, SRHM Chief Executive, spoke to Wanda Nowicka, Polish activist and politician.


Feminists Defend Abortion Access Amid Pandemic

Feminists Defend Abortion Access Amid Pandemic

May 7, 2020
Emily Keller, International Women’s Health Coalition

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and lockdowns are enforced to stop the spread, abortion access—which is limited even in the best of times—has come under threat worldwide.

While some governments have responded with efforts to expand access to abortion—including the easing of restrictions on abortion pills and self-managed abortion—others, including the United States, have rushed to declare abortion “nonessential,” shut down clinics, and pass legislation to further restrict access. Pregnancy does not stop during a crisis, nor does the need for quality, safe, affordable, and compassionate abortion care. In fact, Marie Stopes International estimates that up to 9.5 million women and girls could lose access to contraception and abortion services due to the pandemic.


Fighting drastic anti-choice banners. Case study: Poland

Fighting drastic anti-choice banners. Case study: Poland

Mar 5, 2019 (but undated)

The anti-choice organizations in Poland are becoming more and more visible in the public sphere with their drastic images which instrumentalize dismembered fetuses to distort the truth about abortion. The Right to Life Foundation has been presenting its manipulative exhibition since 2005, but it was not until the elections in 2015 that they could extend its scope of action. The Right to Life Foundation and The Life and Family Foundation were given a green light by the authorities to misinform the public debate, and to frighten vulnerable persons. Bloody posters, trucks and billboards commonly pop up in front of hospitals, schools and kindergartens in many cities and towns all over Poland.

The Federation for Women and Family Planning has taken the following countermeasures:


Polish Women Protest Proposed Abortion Ban (Again)

Polish Women Protest Proposed Abortion Ban (Again)

MARCH 23, 2018

WARSAW — To Magda, giving birth would have meant inflicting a slow death. Her unborn child had a rare genetic syndrome that causes severe, fatal birth defects.

“I would feed it, hug it, love it, get attached to it, and then, when it would be 3 or 4 months old, it would suffocate while in my arms,” she recalled, explaining her decision a decade ago to have an abortion. “It would scar me for life. I don’t know if I would be capable of giving birth to another child and not look at it as if it were the one that had died in my arms.”


Concerted attack of the Polish fundamentalists

Concerted attack of the Polish fundamentalists
March 16, 2018

Since 2015 when the Law and Justice Party has come to power, atmosphere around women’s rights and freedoms, including the right to abortion, is very tense. In January 2018, the MP referred a draft law banning abortion in case of foetal impairment to the committee for a further discussion. Following massive protests, the decision makers seemed to put “Stop abortion” into “a legislative freezer”. The anti-choice group continued to put pressure on the politicians with letters, tweets and pickets in front of the Polish parliament. Without effect, until the Polish bishops intervened. On the March, 14 the Polish Episcopal Conference appealed for the bill to be proceeded. A day later, the Head of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights announced that the opinion on the draft law will be issued on the next Monday (19.03). This illustrates the enormous power of the Church and the strong resistance of the politicians to put human rights over their own interests in the light of the upcoming elections in 2018 (local) and 2019 (national).


Poland: Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

10/01 will be remembered as another day when Polish women were betrayed by people who were given mandate to represent their citizens. Citizens and their legislative initiative. Polish MPs have rejected the “Save women” bill and referred to the committee the “Stop abortion” bill. We thought we hit rock bottom, then the anti-choice majority knocked from down below.

80 pro-choice organizations have appealed to the MPs for a fact-based, open-minded and genuine debate in the Parliament. They have provided fact-based arguments to encourage the lawmakers to support a bill that guarantees basic standards in education, conscious parenthood and reproductive health (more about the bill). To stand by women whose rights have been since 25 years neglected. 25 years of the highly restrictive law that is in practice even more repressive as it has restricted an access to legal abortion (more about the effects of the anti-abortion law).

Continued at source: