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‘Not One More’ woman in Poland should die from barbaric anti abortion law! EP says Polish women must get access to legal and safe abortions

Date

12 Nov 2021

Sections

Central Europe

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the de facto abortion ban in Poland*, the European Parliament adopted today a resolution - with a very strong S&D stamp on it - urging the Polish government to guarantee the access to safe and legal abortion services.

Mourning the death of a 30-year old, Izabela, considered to be the first fatal victim of Poland’s strict abortion ban and the chilling effect it had on doctors, MEPs called on the Polish government to ensure that no more women in Poland die because of it. The text also pays tribute to the brave activists and organisations who continue to help women to access abortion care when they need it and calls on member states to grant free abortion services to Polish women in the context of cross-border cooperation. Over the past 12 months, Abortion Without Borders groups have helped 34 thousand people from Poland to access abortion.

During a special debate in Strasbourg, the S&Ds expressed their solidarity with Polish women who massively protested against the abortion ban, and assured them that they will not rest until Polish women enjoy the same rights as other European women. They also called on the European Commission to urgently open infringement proceedings regarding the illegitimate PiS-controlled Constitutional Tribunal, and to widen the scope of the Art. 7 procedure against Poland, including the attacks on fundamental and women’s rights.

Robert Biedroń, S&D MEP and vice-president of the FEMM committee, said:

“Izabela died because a group of religious fanatics in Poland decided that a foetus is more important than a woman’s life. Now they have blood on their hands.

“Prior to her death, Izabela told her relatives that the doctors were taking a ‘wait-and-see attitude’ and not terminating the pregnancy immediately due to the restrictions on legal abortions. Doctors refused her a life-saving abortion and, instead, decided to wait for the foetus to die of natural causes. The entire country is shocked, and Poles took to the streets to ensure that “Not One More” woman loses her life because of the barbaric abortion ban. Now we know that Izabela was not the only victim of the ruling. There was also Anna and probably other women whose names remain unknown. If we don't stop fanatics from PiS, many more will follow.

“The EU cannot remain indifferent to this nightmare. Polish women cannot be reduced to expendable incubators. They are European citizens whose rights must be protected, even more if the attack comes from their own government.”

Fred Matić, S&D MEP and the European Parliament’s negotiator on sexual and reproductive health and rights, added:

“We have repeatedly warned that the de facto ban on abortion endangers the health and lives of women and girls in Poland. Now we see the shocking aftermath of it, with at least two lives lost already.

“With our resolution, we once again condemn the decision of the illegitimate Constitutional Tribunal and call on the Polish government to swiftly and fully guarantee the access to and provision of abortion services. The Socialist and Democrats are also making it clear that the Commission and Council can no longer hide behind the argument of national competences when European citizens are losing their lives. They must act now to safeguard the right to health. Women and girls in Poland must not be left behind.”

Notes to editors:

Last year, on October 22, the PiS controlled Constitutional Tribunal - the same one that questioned the primacy of the EU law a few weeks ago - delivered a barbaric ruling essentially banning abortion. Polish women have since then been deprived of the right to decide if they wish to terminate their pregnancy, even in extreme cases of severe birth defects or foetal abnormalities.

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