Ula was pregnant with twins whose key organs were fused. They would never survive outside of her body. In normal circumstances, Ula would immediately get an abortion in a hospital. But after the extremely strict abortion ban which came into force in Poland in January 2021, doctors decided she had to carry the pregnancy to term, facing the risk of serious internal bleeding and permanent infertility. The doctors refused to end her pregnancy when it was still relatively safe, arguing that her life and health were not at risk at that moment. 
As widely reported by women and doctors across Poland, the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal has had a “chilling effect” on the grounds for abortion which remain legal. Doctors, for fear of criminal liability, refuse to perform abortions even when the health or life of the pregnant person is at serious risk.
Thousands of people in Poland have found themselves in a situation threatening their health and lives. Every day of delay puts the lives of more people at risk. The only hope for women like Ula is the “Rescue Bill” proposed to the Polish Parliament.
Over the last year, hundreds of thousands of people in Poland have protested against the abortion ban in the streets. But the ruling against abortion is not just a law that can be changed: abortions were declared to be against the Constitution of Poland itself. There is no way to reverse the ban – but there is a way around it. Progressive MPs prepared a bill  which would lift all penalties on medical staff performing abortions.
The pressure around this topic is growing, with over 100 women’s organisations and numerous MPs calling for the decriminalisation of abortions. We know that even many right-wing politicians think that the abortion ban has gone too far. There’s a chance that they will try to mitigate the damage of this politicised court decision – but only if we raise our voices loud enough.
The women’s organisations pushing for this new law are clear: a strong supporting voice from people from across Europe could make a huge difference. Will you add your signature?
- in Polish: https://www.wysokieobcasy.pl/wysokie-obcasy/7,163229,27072849,zakaz-aborcji-nie-tylko-w-przypadku-wad-plodu-lekarze-odmawiaja.html
- full text of the draft bill in Polish available here: http://orka.sejm.gov.pl/Druki9ka.nsf/Projekty/9-020-299-2020/$file/9-020-299-2020.pdf