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The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed the cases of eight women complaining about Poland’s lack of access to abortion

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg on Thursday dismissed the complaints of eight Polish women who accused Poland of not having access to abortion as a result of the decision of the Constitutional Court. The ECtHR found that the applicants “did not submit any convincing medical evidence”. About a thousand similar cases from Poland are still pending.

Thursday’s ruling concerns eight Polish women who claimed to be theirs human rights have been violated by the judgment of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal in 2020, which prohibited the termination of pregnancy with fetal defects.

Women born between 1980 and 1993 argued in the prosecution that they were effectively barred from accessing legal abortions in cases of fetal abnormality. The applicants also argued that the abortion restriction had not been legal because the Constitutional Court had not been properly composed and was not impartial.

Decision of the European Court of Human Rights

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“The Court found that the applicants had failed to provide any convincing medical evidence that they were at imminent risk of being directly affected by the 2020 legislative changes,” the ECtHR wrote in a statement.

“The consequences for the applicants of the legislative changes were therefore too remote and abstract for them to claim to be ‘victims’ within the meaning of the European Convention on Human Rights,” the ECtHR stated in its unanimous decision.

The ECtHR informed that about a thousand similar cases from Poland are waiting for a decision.

– This is only the first shot in this battle – Jakub Jaraczewski from the NGO Democracy Reporting International commented in an interview with Deutsche Welle. As he said, many of the approximately one thousand applications from Poland related to the restriction of reproductive rights after 2020 “concern applicants whose situation was not so hypothetical”.

Judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal on abortion law

October 22, 2020 The Constitutional Tribunal headed by Julia Przyłębska ruled that the provision of the so-called anti-abortion act of 1993 permitting abortion in the event of severe and irreversible fetal impairment or an incurable life-threatening disease is inconsistent with the constitution. The ruling of the Constitutional Court sparked a wave of protests across the country.

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PAP, tvn24.pl, Deutsche Welle

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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