More than 30,000 Polish women sought illegal or foreign abortions since law change last year

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At slightest 34,000 women successful Poland are known to person sought abortions illegally oregon overseas since the state introduced a near full prohibition connected terminations a twelvemonth ago.

According to Abortion Without Borders (AWB), an organisation that helps women entree harmless termination services, much than 1,000 Polish women person sought second-trimester abortions successful overseas clinics since the state passed draconian caller laws.

AWB said its figures are apt to conscionable beryllium a snapshot of the existent fig of Polish women seeking amerciable oregon overseas abortions successful the past year. NGOs person estimated that 80 to 200,000 women a twelvemonth sought amerciable abortions nether Poland’s aged termination laws, which inactive tightly restricted the conditions nether which women could question terminations.

On 22 October past year, Poland’s law tribunal ruled that abortions successful cases of foetal defects were unconstitutional and that terminations would beryllium allowed lone successful cases of rape, incest, oregon if the mother’s wellness was astatine risk, which made up lone astir 2% of ineligible terminations astatine the clip of the ruling. The instrumentality came into effect successful January 2021.

In the past year, astatine slightest 460 Polish women seeking second-trimester abortions travelled to England, according to AWB, wherever terminations tin beryllium carried retired up to 24 weeks, and beyond that successful exceptional circumstances. The foundation says it has helped women question from Poland to Belgium, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic to entree ineligible abortions.

Of those who sought its services successful the 12 months since the authorities was announced, AWB says astatine slightest 18,000 women were helped by its affiliate radical Women Help Women, an organisation that facilitates postal entree to termination pills.

The figures were released successful the aforesaid week arsenic a study by Human Rights Watch, including grounds from 14 different organisations, including Amnesty International and International Federation for Human Rights, said women and girls successful Poland are facing “incalculable harm” owed to the caller termination legislation.

“The law tribunal ruling is causing incalculable harm – particularly to those who are poor, unrecorded successful agrarian areas, oregon are marginalised,” said Urszula Grycuk, planetary advocacy coordinator astatine the Federation for Women and Family Planning (Federa) successful Poland, 1 of the groups that contributed to the report.

Mara Clarke, the laminitis of AWB, told the Guardian: “We’re seeing much women [access our services] with foetal abnormality since the instrumentality changed. We’re proceeding from our work users that the severity of foetal abnormality is being downplayed by doctors and that successful immoderate cases doctors are wilfully delaying diagnosis [so that women find it much hard to entree an abortion].”

Abortion has ever been tightly controlled successful Poland, and was banned until 1932, erstwhile the instrumentality changed to let ineligible termination for aesculapian reasons oregon successful cases of rape oregon incest.

The October 2020 ruling resulted successful a question of nationalist protests, with thousands of women and girls crossed the state dressed successful achromatic taking to the streets successful a nationalist strike. An estimated 100,000 radical demonstrated against the caller authorities successful Warsaw.