‘Historic moment’ — Top Polish court rules that eugenic abortion is unconstitutional

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2 Min Read

In a historic victory for Poland’s pro-life movement, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that the existing laws concerning eugenic abortion are incompatible with the country’s constitution.

The motion to investigate the laws’ compatibility with the constitution was filed by 119 MPs from Law and Justice (PiS), the Polish People’s Party (PSL) and the right-wing Confederation.

Poland’s abortion law, which was passed in the 1990s, restricts the right to abortion only to cases where the pregnancy has come about as a result of rape or incest, when the woman’s life is threatened by proceeding with the pregnancy, or when the fetus is damaged and could result in a child born with disabilities. This original legislation was a compromise between advocates of a total ban on abortion and those who wanted abortion to be available as it is in most European Union states.

Now, women will no longer be able to obtain an abortion if their sole reason for the abortion is because tests show, for example, that the child has Down’s Syndrome. 

PiS MP Anna M. Siarkowska believes that the court’s verdict is a “historic moment” and “breakthrough decision.” In an interview for Polish news portal Do Rzeczy, she explained that the Constitutional Court had decreed the “obvious” and that “human life has imperative value no matter if it concerns a healthy or ill person. The life of ill children and those who are disabled will not be treated worse than the life of healthy children.”

Siarkowska noted that the current verdict was a second attempt at ending eugenic abortion in the country. In the previous attempt, the court refused to consider the issue because the court’s term was coming to an end.