POLAND – Updates following Constitutional Court Ruling

A fundraiser for the activities of the Abortion Dream Team : 23 October 2020 

As a consequence of today’s Constitutional Tribunal ruling we expect a massive increase in our workload.From now on access to abortion because of fatal malformations will not be possible anymore in public hospitals in Poland.Now even more people will need to travel abroad for abortion or need information how to safely self-manage their abortions at home.

All those who need abortion now or in the future must know that they are not alone and that they can count on us.We want to make sure that we can support them.We must reach them with information that we exist.We need money for informational materials and distribution.

Additionally, our faces are currently displayed on anti-abortion, homophobic trucks.This gives us even more work.

If that was not enough, those who support people in their abortions, those who have abortions, and those who work to change the discourse around abortion, are confronted everyday with fake information and offensive content.We want to change it.No matter how much false and misleading content the anti-abortion groups create, we will make sure that in public spaces people can see that it’s okay to have an abortion.

Every person in need should know that they are not alone, they can count on us, and that abortion is safe.

We are collecting money here for the coming months.We need financial support to be able to go on with our work and continue to support people in their abortions.We will put billboards, posters, stickers and… and if there is enough cash – our own truck! We need money because unlike the foundation “pro” we do not have an income of 2.5 million a year. We are very grateful for any support.

TO DONATE, GO TO: https://zrzutka.pl/en/kasa-na-aborcyjny-dream-team

Need an abortion? You are not alone. abortiondreamteam.pl / abortionbezgranic.pl / +48 22 29 22 597


Responses in Poland

Agencja Gazeta/Reuters (Guardian 23-10-20)

Media reports with photos and videos

There have been demonstrations involving thousands of people, especially young women, across the country since the judgment was announced. There have been demonstrations for at least 4 days now, and activists have promised to carry on. Here are just a few of the media reports, with incredible photos and some videos: Guardian 23-10-20 ; Guardian 23-10-20 ; New York Times 27-10-20 ; BBC 25-10-20 ; BBC 26-10-20 ; CBC 23-10-20 ; CNN 26-10-20 ; France24 24-10-20 ;

IPPF Europe Twitter thread  ; IPPF Europe press release : Serious breaches of rule of law in Poland pave way for extensive abuse of human rights. 21 October 2020

European Parliament_EN : Eight in ten Europeans support the concept that the EU should only provide funds to EU countries if they are in compliance with the rule of law and democratic principles. MEPs call for a strong mechanism to ensure respect for the rule of law : http://eptwitter.eu/qu3s

Message from Abortion Without Borders, 23 October 2020

On 22 October, in Poland, an almost entirely male panel of judges voted toend abortion in cases of severe and fatal fetal abnormality.This means they’ve voted to end the approximately 1,000 abortions that were still performed legally in Poland each year, meaning women, pregnant people, and their families will be forced to endure the pain of carrying a non-viable pregnancy to term, or to travel elsewhere for the care they need. This Tribunal has chosen to increase suffering, to reduce care and compassion.With this decision,this Tribunal hasshown that they have no mercy, no sympathy, no heart and no conscience.

We don’t know precisely what it’ll mean in practice, but we do know that this will make life even harder for people who need care at their most vulnerable. As far as we’re concerned it’s a travesty whenanyonehas to travel for an abortion, whatever the reason, whether their pregnancy was planned or unplanned, whether they’re single or married, have children or don’t.

At Abortion Without Borders, and Abortion Support Network (ASN), we don’t ask questions. We’re just here, answering phones and emails, opening our arms and our bank accounts, and showering those who need us with the radical compassion they deserve.

The announcement has led to spontaneous protests in Warsaw last night, and hundreds of calls to the Abortion Without Borders helpline – people checking in, seeking help, making sure the team are actually there. And they are. We are.Abortion Without Borders, our partners, and ASN are here for anyone living in Poland who needs us.

If you’re angry and need somewhere to direct that anger, have you tried a rage donation? They taste the sweetest and you can join hundreds of people who’ve already donated over £2,000 to ASN since 22 October.Know that we are here.In solidarity.

SOURCE: E-mail from Abortion Support Network, 23 October 2020, on behalf of Abortion Without Borders, (Abortion Dream Team, Abortion Network Amsterdam, Abortion Support Network, Ciocia Basia, Kobiety w Sieci and Women Help Women)


STATEMENT: Poland has slammed door shut on legal and safe abortions – UN experts

by the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls and three Special Rapporteurs, 27 October 2020

“Poland has decided to sacrifice women’s human right to safe and legal health services for termination of pregnancy on account of protection of the right to life of the unborn in violation of its international human rights obligations,” independent human rights experts have said in response to the ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court to ban abortions on the ground of fatal or severe foetal impairment.

“We stand in solidarity with women in Poland and their quest for equality. We call on the authorities to safeguard the rights of women and men who are protesting against this ruling,” the experts said.

“This ruling will have devastating consequences for women and adolescent girls in need of such terminations, especially those who are socio-economically disadvantaged and migrant women in irregular situations who do not have the means to go abroad for abortion services,” the experts said….

The experts highlighted that international human rights mechanisms have been clear in recognizing women’s right to abortion in cases of fatal foetal impairment and that States have to provide for termination of pregnancy in such cases as the lack of access constitutes, inter alia, a violation of the right to be free from inhuman treatment.

The Human Rights Committee, which monitors the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in its interpretation of “right to life”, states that, “States parties must provide safe, legal and effective access to abortion where the life and health of the pregnant woman or girl is at risk, or where carrying a pregnancy to term would cause the pregnant woman or girl substantial pain or suffering, most notably where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or where the pregnancy is not viable”.

Moreover, the CEDAW Committee has concluded that a restriction affecting only women from exercising reproductive choice, and resulting in women being forced to carry almost every pregnancy to full term, involves mental and physical suffering constituting violence against women and potentially amounts to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Poland has been a State Party to the Covenant since 1977 and to the CEDAW Convention since 1980 and has a legal obligation to uphold these international human rights standards….

Furthermore, international human rights mechanisms recognise women’s right to access safe and legal abortion as necessary for the protection of women’s dignity and equality and implicit in the right to equality, right to private life, right to be free from inhuman treatment and the right to the highest attainable standards. They have advocated decriminalisation of abortion and liberalisation of abortion laws.

“The decision of the Constitution Court clearly goes against these standards. It cannot be justified by invoking the protection of the right to life, as the right to life and all other human rights under international human rights law are accorded to those who have been born”, the experts explained. “Those who believe that personhood commences at the time of conception have the freedom to act in accordance with their beliefs but not to impose their beliefs on others through the legal system”…

FULL STATEMENT: OHCHR, 27 October 2020.