“The hearing will take place on 8 April 2022 at 9:30am in the Warsaw Praga Południe District Court. This is the first case in Europe of an activist being charged with aiding an abortion by providing pills. Justyna, a 47-year-old from a small town in central Poland, faces three years in prison.
PETITION: Amnesty International has launched a PETITION – please sign here urgently to support Justyna. 11,115 signatures on 31-3-22.
Why Justyna gave Anna her pills
In 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Justyna gave her own abortion pills to “Anna” (name changed), a woman with an unwanted pregnancy. At the time, Anna was in a relationship with a man who had prevented her from travelling to an abortion clinic abroad, and was abusive and controlling. When Anna returned home with the pills she was met by the police; her husband had set a trap for her and called them.
Justyna is clear: “I supported her, because I know what it’s like. Just like mothers support their daughters, like partners should be able to rely on one another; I do not think helping someone in abortion is a crime. On the contrary – we should support each other – not just in crisis situations, but anytime. I’ve been supporting other women for 16 years. I will not stop.”
The Abortion Dream Team is launching a campaign to support Justyna, and confirms that people in Poland will still receive abortion support from them. #IamJustyna (#jakJustyna)
Sabrina Mana-Walasek, PhD, attorney of the Abortion Dream Team, emphasises that “termination of one’s own pregnancy is not criminalised and according to international standards is an expression of exercising fundamental human rights. Therefore, one has to wonder about the legitimacy of penalising those who help in exercising these rights. Also for these reasons, it should be concluded that Justyna’s actions, which consisted of sending abortion medication to another person, although technically could meet the statutory definition of a crime under Article 152 §2 of the Penal Code, were not socially harmful and should not be punished.
In 2020 the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland ruled that abortions due to fetal malformations are unconstitutional. The Abortion Dream Team is a member of Abortion Without Borders (AWB), a network of groups working for abortion freedom and access in Europe. In the first year after the ruling, AWB has helped 34,000 people from Poland access abortions. 1,544 persons left Poland for a second trimester abortion in a foreign clinic, paid for with 315,000 Euro (1.5 million PLN) from generous donors.
You can find further information at this link: jakjustyna.aborcyjnydreamteam.pl/press-info
This press release is also available in Polish and Spanish. For additional information, contact:
– Natalia Broniarczyk (mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; tel: +48-503-098-993)
– Kinga Jelińska (mail: email@example.com tel: +31-6-45956581 )
SOURCES: Abortion Dream Team press release, 28 March 2022 ; Amnesty International