Home Featured Polish court finds activist guilty of facilitating abortion
Polish court finds activist guilty of facilitating abortion

Polish court finds activist guilty of facilitating abortion

by host

WARSAW — A court in Warsaw has found Justyna Wydrzyńska, a Polish abortion rights activist, guilty of facilitating abortion, sentencing her Tuesday afternoon to eight months of community service at 30 hours a month.

The verdict is a setback for the Polish and international abortion rights movement, which is being forced increasingly underground following the abolition of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

Wydrzyńska, one of the leaders of Abortion Dream Team, an abortion rights NGO, was charged with helping a woman known as Ania with an at-home abortion using medication. It is not illegal for a woman in Poland to terminate her own pregnancy. But it is illegal to provide help, which is what Wydrzyńska did, sending Ania — who was in an abusive relationship at the time — her own abortion pills via post.

Ania had previously tried to travel to Germany for the procedure but was prevented from doing so by her husband. She ordered tablets but worried they might not be delivered in time. After Wydrzyńska sent her the pills, Ania’s husband found out about the effort and tipped off the police.

“I am still going to help women. I don’t feel guilty. On the contrary, the sentence has made me feel I did the right thing,” Wydrzyńska said following the trial.

News of Wydrzyńska’s sentence has reverberated quickly across the European women’s rights movement.

“Justyna was already doing community service by stepping in where the State has been failing and providing safe abortion care,” Irene Donadio of International Planned Parenthood said in a statement for IPP Federation’s European office.

“We are deeply saddened by the decision and outraged by the entire process,” she added.

The ruling is the latest move by Poland to make getting an abortion ever more difficult. Following a 2020 ruling by the government-controlled Constitutional Tribunal, the country has one of the EU’s strictest abortion laws, allowing the procedure only in cases where a woman’s health or life is threatened, or the pregnancy is a result of crime like rape or incest.

But even those provisions sometimes fall short. Thousands of Poles took to the streets in November 2021 after the death of a 30-year-old woman whose life could have been saved had the doctors not delayed an abortion. Activists and rights groups said the doctors held off on performing an abortion, even after discovering fetal defects, due to fear of violating Poland’s restrictive abortion law.

Wydrzyńska said she will appeal the sentence. 

Source link

You may also like