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The European Parliament adopted a resolution on abortion in Poland

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The European Parliament adopted a resolution on abortion in Poland on Thursday. In it, the European Parliament called on the Polish government to “lift the ban on abortion, which threatens women’s lives.” 373 MEPs voted in favor. The resolution also presents detailed statistics on abortion in Poland one year after the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in this case.

373 people voted for and 124 against the European Parliament resolution on abortion in Poland, which means that it was adopted. 55 people abstained.

The resolution refers to the anniversary of the publication of the judgment on abortion by the Constitutional Tribunal, which, according to the European Parliament, introduces a de facto ban on abortion in Poland. In it, the European Parliament called on the Polish government to “lift the ban on abortion, which threatens women’s lives.”


Consequences of the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment on abortionTVN24

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Parliament calls on the Polish government to act

The EP does not recognize the current Constitutional Court and the resolution describes it as “illegal”. The resolution summarizes the events of the last year in Poland related to the right to abortion and is critical of this situation. It contained information that 34,000 women received assistance in accessing abortion abroad during the year, and 300 procedures were performed in hospitals in Poland.

Debate on abortion in Poland took place during the previous session of parliament, three weeks ago, on Thursday there was only a vote on the resolution. The document was prepared by the largest factions in the EP.

Between the debate and the vote, new information appeared, and therefore amendments to the resolution – including the death of pregnant Izabela in Pszczyna, or the later protests supported by the EP. The EP said in a press release that a 30-year-old Polish woman died of sepsis in September because doctors failed to perform a life-saving abortion while waiting for the fetus to die due to restrictions on legal abortions in Poland.

Parliament urges the Polish government “to ensure that no more women in Poland die because of this restrictive law.” “Access to safe, legal and free abortion services must be guaranteed,” said the EP.

“Not one more” – protest in KrakowPAP / Łukasz Gągulski

What is in the resolution?

MEPs in the resolution “strongly condemn the unlawful ruling of the Constitutional Court of October 22, 2020 imposing an almost complete ban on abortion and thus endangering the health and life of women.” They call on the Polish government to “quickly and fully guarantee access to safe, legal and free abortion services for all women.”

MEPs regret that “due to restrictive law, women must seek unsafe abortions, travel abroad to perform them, or terminate pregnancies against their will, also in the event of fatal fetal impairment.”

Parliament “called on Member States to cooperate more effectively to facilitate cross-border access to abortion, for example by ensuring that Polish women have access to free and safe abortion in other national health systems.”

In the resolution, “MPs condemn the increasingly hostile and brutal treatment of human rights defenders in Poland and call on the Polish authorities to guarantee their right to publicly express their opinion without fear of repercussions or threats.” “They also strongly condemn the disproportionate use of violence against protesters by law enforcement and call on the Polish authorities to ensure that those who attack protesters will be held accountable for their actions,” the EP reported.

They indicate that “the abortion judgment is another example of the political seizure of the judiciary and the systemic collapse of the rule of law in Poland.” They also ask the Council “to include this issue in the examination of the rule of law in Poland by extending the scope of the hearings”.

The death of Izabela and protests all over Poland

On Saturday in dozens of Polish cities, but also incl. in Berlin, there were demonstrations after the death of a pregnant 30-year-old Iza. The woman died in a hospital in Pszczyna after doctors had to wait for the fetus to die. This case was described on October 29 by legal counsel Jolanta Budzowska, representative of the deceased family. She wrote that it was a consequence of last year’s judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal, chaired by Julia Przyłębska, which tightened the abortion law. The prosecutor’s office deals with the case.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / RONALD WITTEK

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