It is the first cause of abortions in Poland which has just been made illegal. The National Constitutional Court has just given a very controversial green light to a new tightening of the abortion law, already among the most restrictive in the EU, by outlawing abortion in the event of a serious malformation of the fetus.
This decision is a priori final, even if it is already contested by the liberal opposition and women’s rights organizations in this country deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition. Court President Julia Przylebska said existing legislation allowing abortion of malformed fetuses was “incompatible” with the country’s constitution.
This decision provoked an immediate critical reaction from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic. “Eliminating the grounds for almost all legal abortions in Poland is practically equivalent to banning them and violating human rights,” said the Commissioner in a statement. For her, this decision “translates into clandestine abortions or (performed) abroad for those who can afford it, and more suffering for others”.
In line with the wishes of the ruling Ultra-Catholic Nationalist Party, Law and Justice (PiS), the judgment will restrict the right to abortion only to cases of danger to death for the pregnant woman and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
The Polish Presidency expressed its “satisfaction” with the judgment handed down. “The views of the President (Andrzej Duda) on this matter are well known and have not changed. We express our satisfaction that the Constitutional Court has positioned itself on the side of life, ”said the spokesperson for the Head of State, Blazej Spychalski.
On the other hand, pro-democratic and feminist organizations have cried out loudly to “shame”.
The main centrist opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO), blames the blame for this “hell for women” on PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski himself and on the Catholic Church in Poland. Barbara Nowacka, one of the leaders of the PO, accuses the bishops: “It’s your fault. You have blood on your hands, ”she said.
“It’s political villainy”
The leader of the European People’s Party (PPL) and former President of the European Council Donald Tusk joined in the reactions of indignation aroused by this verdict. “Raising the issue of abortion and the decision of this pseudo-tribunal in the midst of the pandemic storm is more than cynicism. It’s political villainy, ”tweets the former Polish prime minister.
The Constitutional Court, reformed by the government led by Law and Justice (PiS), has since often been accused of having in its ranks a number of judges loyal to this party. According to official data, Poland, a country of 38 million inhabitants, recorded in 2019 only around 1,100 cases of abortion, the overwhelming majority of which were authorized because of an irreversible malformation of the fetus.
According to NGOs, the number of abortions performed clandestinely in Poland or in foreign clinics could reach nearly 200,000 per year. Many women and women’s rights organizations have protested against legal attempts to toughen the law, but the Covid-19 pandemic has complicated mobilization.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr