Polish Activist Convicted For Helping Woman Obtain Abortion Pills

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Warsaw court docket on Tuesday convicted a girls’s rights activist for serving to a sufferer of home violence entry abortion capsules in Poland, and sentenced her to eight months of group service.

The case of Justyna Wydrzyńska has been carefully watched by human rights activists, who consider it can set a precedent in a rustic with a few of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.

They feared that the costs and a responsible verdict would create an environment of repression that will intimidate girls’s rights activists and discourage them from helping girls searching for abortions.

A reproductive rights group, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, stated it was “appalled” that Wydrzyńska will now have a legal report for serving to a lady who was in an abusive relationship.

“We are deeply saddened by the decision and outraged by the entire process. Condemning a person for an act of empathy and compassion towards another human being is inconceivable,” stated spokesperson Irene Donadio.

Justyna Wydrzyńska sits on the court docket in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. A court docket on Tuesday convicted her for serving to a sufferer of home violence entry abortion capsules in Poland and sentenced her to eight months of group service.

Ordo Iuris, an ultra-Catholic authorized institute which joined the case on the facet of the prosecution as an get together, welcomed the ruling as “an important step towards real respect for the right to life of unborn children in force in Poland.”

Prosecutors had charged Wydrzyńska with “helping with an abortion,” a criminal offense punishable up by to a few years in jail, for serving to a lady in 2020 to acquire the capsules.

The girl, recognized in Polish media reviews solely as Anna, already had one youngster and was prevented by her companion from touring overseas for an abortion. Her companion reportedly denounced her to the police for acquiring the capsules.

Wydrzyńska will attraction the case, based on Polish media reviews. She’s the co-founder of the Abortion Dream Team, a corporation that gives girls searching for abortions with info and assist.

Poland, a predominantly Catholic nation, forbids abortion in virtually all circumstances, with exceptions solely when a lady’s life or well being is endangered or if the being pregnant outcomes from rape or incest.

For years, abortion was allowed within the case of fetuses with congenital defects. However, that exception to a ban on abortions was struck down by the nation’s constitutional court docket in 2020.

In apply, Polish girls searching for to terminate their pregnancies order abortions capsules or journey to Germany, the Czech Republic and different international locations the place the process is allowed. While self-administering abortion capsules is authorized, serving to another person will not be.