Polish Woman Denied Abortion Takes Case to European Court
A Polish woman who suffered severe health consequences after being denied an abortion is taking her case before the European Court of Human Rights. Alicja Tysiac sought an abortion after three ophthalmologists predicted that carrying her child to term would likely further damage her failing eyesight. But the same three specialists, as well as a gynecologist, refused to authorize an abortion. When she gave birth, Tysiac's eye condition worsened dramatically as a result of retinal hemorrhage. Tysiac, a single mother to her three children, can now see no more than 12 feet in front of her.
Under the Catholic Church-sponsored Anti-Abortion Act of 1993, abortion in Poland is restricted to circumstances of rape or incest, severe birth defects evident in the fetus, or threat to the mother's life. However, the lack of specific medical criteria for making these determinations causes doctors to be reluctant to grant abortion certificates, according to the Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning. The Federation estimates that only 150-200 abortions are performed legally each year, compared to 180,000 annually before 1993.
Many doctors surveyed by the Federation refuse to perform an abortion even with certification that the woman was raped. Because of these obstacles, some women who qualify for a legal abortion in Poland often choose to have the procedure done illegally at a private clinic or leave the country to find abortion services.
Media Resources: BBC 2/7/06; Jurist 2/8/06; Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning 2000 Report: "The Anti-Abortion Law in Poland"; Reuters 2/7/06;
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .