Warsaw. Poland’s highest court has paved the way for further tightening of restrictive abortion law. In a judgment on Thursday, presiding judge Julia Przylebska declared a law unconstitutional that allows abortion in the event of a serious malformation of the fetus. The national conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) has been campaigning for a tightening of abortion law for years. She wants abortions to be possible only if the pregnant woman’s life is directly threatened or if she has become pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
Poland already has one of the strictest abortion rights in Europe. Again and again there were large demonstrations against the PiS initiative to ban abortions, including of malformed fetuses. The ruling that has now been passed gives the government majority in the Warsaw Parliament the green light to approve a bill to criminalize the abortion of malformed fetuses. The law would only come into force after it has been confirmed by President Andrzej Duda. The conservative head of state has already declared his support for the project.
Sharp criticism of the judgment came from the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic. The decision is “tantamount to a ban” on abortions and represents a violation of human rights. Sa’s judgment will result in women who could afford it, secretly or abroad, having abortions carried out. For everyone else, the judgment means “even greater suffering.” AFP / nd Comment on page 8