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/


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


U.N. and advocates raise concerns of abortion access for Ukrainian refugees in Poland

May 17, 2022
PATRICK ADAMS, NPR

Ukrainian women who were raped by Russian soldiers are among the millions of refugees who have fled to Poland.

And they now find themselves in a country that severely restricts access to reproductive health care, including both contraception and abortion.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/05/17/994654590/u-n-and-advocates-raise-concerns-of-abortion-access-for-ukrainian-refugees-in-po


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


A covert network of activists is preparing for the end of Roe

What will the future of abortion in America look like?

By Jessica Bruder
APRIL 4, 2022

One bright afternoon in early January, on a beach in Southern California, a young woman spread what looked like a very strange picnic across an orange polka-dot towel: A mason jar. A rubber stopper with two holes. A syringe without a needle. A coil of aquarium tubing and a one-way valve. A plastic speculum. Several individually wrapped sterile cannulas—thin tubes designed to be inserted into the body—which resembled long soda straws. And, finally, a three-dimensional scale model of the female reproductive system.

The two of us were sitting on the sand. The woman, whom I’ll call Ellie, had suggested that we meet at the beach; she had recently recovered from COVID-19, and proposed the open-air setting for my safety. She also didn’t want to risk revealing where she lives—and asked me to withhold her name—because of concerns about harassment or violence from anti-abortion extremists.

Continued: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/roe-v-wade-overturn-abortion-rights/629366/


Out of the Alley

How self-managed abortion looks today.

by Lux Alptraum and Erika Moen, The Nib
APRIL 4, 2022

This comic is not intended as medical advice and was not reviewed by a medical professional. Mifepristone and/or Misoprostol may not be safe and/or effective for all people. Please consult a medical professional prior to an abortion.

Continued: https://thenib.com/self-managed-abortion/


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


Mexico – Free Abortion Across Borders

Following Mexico’s Supreme Court ruling to decriminalize abortion, feminists in the country continue to help people access care. Their work can serve as a model for US activists navigating the limits of state health services.

BY ZOÉ VANGELDER
FEBRUARY 4, 2022

This story originally appeared in Dissent on Oct. 13, 2021, and is shared with permission via the Progressive International’s Wire.

Crystal, an abortion acompañante from Mexico, has a green bandana attached to her backpack that signals her involvement in the marea verde, the “green wave” of reproductive rights activism gaining momentum throughout Latin America. In her bag she carries pamphlets from the Tijuana Safe Abortion Network and Las Bloodys, the feminist collective she helped found. Designed to fold up into a neat rectangle that slips discreetly into a back pocket, the pamphlets provide details for how to self-administer an abortion safely, avoiding legal and medical risks.

Crystal clarified that aborto libre didn’t just mean free of charge; it also means free as in liberated, free from stigma, free from medicalized control and legal restrictions, free for pregnant people to make the best decision for themselves.

Continued: https://therealnews.com/free-abortion-across-borders