Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-13-06

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;


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/18/2014 Texas Hospitals Revoke Admitting Privileges to Abortion Providers - Reproductive health access in Texas continues to vanish in the wake of HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that, among other things, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges in order to keep their clinics open. . . .
 
4/18/2014 Dartmouth President Calls For Changes In Wake of Federal Sexual Assault Investigation - Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon gave a powerful speech Wednesday night calling for significant changes on campus in light of its high rates of sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and discriminatory social scene. "Darmouth's promise is being hijacked by high-risk and harmful behaviors, behaviors that are hurting too many of our students, dividing us as a community and distracting from our important work of teaching and learning," Hanlon said. . . .
 
4/17/2014 Federal Court Permanently Blocks North Dakota's Extreme 6-Week Abortion Ban - A federal district court permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation yesterday, calling it "invalid and unconstitutional." The North Dakota law, HB 1456, directly challenged Roe v. . . .