In the three years since Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruling, Abortion Without Borders has helped more than 125,000 people in Poland to access safe abortion

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

In the three years since Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruling, Abortion Without Borders has helped more than 125,000 people in Poland to access safe abortion with more than PLN 3,675,000 (€823,290) in funding.

During the last year (from 22.10.2022 to 22.10.2023), Abortion Without Borders groups helped 46,773 thousand people from Poland to access abortion with more than PLN 1,675,031 (€375,250). More than 1,235 of these people traveled abroad to access a second or third trimester abortion.

Continued: https://womenhelp.org/en/page/1577/new-data-from-abortion-without-borders-in-the-three-years-since


“I Felt That I Had Saved My Own Life”: A Polish Woman’s Harrowing Story of Illegal Abortion

Polish activist Justyna Wydrzyńska is the first woman in Europe to be convicted of “intent to aid” an abortion. For the first time, the woman she helped, Ania, tells the story of her desperate quest to end her pregnancy.

By Rebecca Grant
April 18, 2023

On March 14, 2023, the Polish activist Justyna Wydrzyńska was convicted of “intent to aid” an abortion. Wydrzyńska is a prominent abortion rights activist in Poland, and in February 2020, she was contacted by Ania (a pseudonym), a woman who was desperate for help accessing medication abortion. Ania’s situation was tragic and complicated, and Wydrzyńska was moved by her pleas. She had a pack of abortion pills in her home and sent it to Ania via a courier service, but before Ania could take them, her partner discovered the pills and reported it to the police.

Wydrzyńska was charged in late 2021 and her trial dragged on for a year. With the guilty verdict, she became the first activist in Europe convicted for this type of crime. Her case has attracted international attention, in part because it reflected a new frontier in abortion prosecutions—targeting activists. During the trial, vague details about Ania, and what inspired Wydrzyńska to mail her the pills, filtered out, but Ania has never gone on the record to share what led her to ask for help.

In this exclusive US interview with The Nation, Ania tells her story publicly, in her own words, for the first time. It’s a story of determination, of fear, of solidarity, of loneliness, and of gratitude. It’s also a story of the visceral harm that abortion bans inflict on women, and the lengths people will go to end pregnancies they cannot carry. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

By Ania

A little more than three years ago, my whole life and opinions and worldviews changed completely. I would never have suspected that I would have an unwanted pregnancy and would have taken the decision to terminate it. This way of thinking lasted until the day of [my own experience].

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/pregnancy-abortion-poland/tnamp/
Longer full story from Abortion Dream Team: https://preview.mailerlite.io/emails/webview/90350/85793279289852940


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/


Abortion Without Borders helps almost 80,000 people access abortions in place of the Polish state

Thursday, October 20, 2022
Abortion Without Borders / Women Help Women

Two years on from Poland’s decision to effectively ban abortion, members of Abortion Without Borders have supported 78,000 people from Poland to access abortions safely.

In the last year, AWB has helped 44,000 people, with more than 1,200 able to terminate their pregnancies in the second trimester in clinics in other European countries.

Continued: https://womenhelp.org/en/page/1498/abortion-without-borders-helps-almost-80-000-people-access-abortions


‘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


Ireland’s Struggle for Abortion Rights Should Be an Inspiration for the US

Ireland’s Struggle for Abortion Rights Should Be an Inspiration for the US

BY SINÉAD KENNEDY
Aug 22, 2022

Irish pro-choice activists had to overcome a rigid constitutional ban on abortion that was in place for more than 30 years. They succeeded by putting mass mobilization and a confident assertion of the right to choose at the heart of their campaign.

In May 2018, the Irish electorate voted by a two-to-one majority to remove or “repeal” the prohibition on abortion, known as the Eighth Amendment, from the country’s constitution. While opinion polls had suggested that pro-choice campaigners would win, most predicted a nerve-rackingly close result; certainly no one anticipated the sheer scale of the victory and the support for abortion access found across every section of society, from young to old, urban to rural.

Continued: https://jacobin.com/2022/08/ireland-abortion-rights-repeal-campaign-us-roe


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


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


Global abortion-rights advocates worry their countries are next if Roe falls

Activists said they spoke to officials not only about their fears of the international impact if Roe were to fall but also proposed changes to U.S. policy that has long restricted funding for abortions abroad.

By DANIEL PAYNE
06/15/2022

Abortion-rights advocates from around the world have met with congressional, USAID, HHS and State Department leaders to discuss worries that their countries will be next to see more restrictions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

In meetings last week, the activists said they spoke to officials not only about their fears of the international impact if Roe were to fall but also proposed changes to U.S. policy that has long restricted funding for abortions abroad.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/15/global-abortion-rights-roe-00039654


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/