Poland’s Abortion Law In The Spotlight For a Woman’s Death During Childbirth

Poland's abortion law in the spotlight for a woman's death during childbirth

On September 22, a 30-year-old Polish woman who was in the 22nd week of pregnancy was admitted to the Pszczyna hospital, where the doctors tried to deliver her with fatal consequences for the fetus and for her, who died while giving birth to light. This week, the lawyer representing the family of the deceased has blamed the events on the anti-abortion legislation of the Polish Government.

The lawyer Jolanta Budzowska, who is handling the case, has affirmed that the death of the mother was “simply a consequence of the ruling of the Constitutional Court”, alluding to the almost total ban on abortion in Poland.

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From the hospital they have indicated that it was “difficult to specify the causes of death” and that “the only objective of the medical team was concern for the health and life of the patient and the fetus”, and added that “doctors and the midwives did everything they could. ” They have also assured that the prosecu tors are investigating the case, but that “all medical decisions were made taking into account the legal provisions and rules of conduct in force in Poland”, as collected by the AP agency

.

Despite the fact that the doctors had diagnosed “defects” in the fetus, such as the lack of amniotic fluid, they waited for the death of the latter to take care of the mother, which many attribute to the fear of acting against the abortion law, one of the most restrictive in Europe. She died hours later from septic shock.

The case has rekindled the controversy over the almost total ban on abortion in Poland, following the 2020 Constitutional Court ruling that criminalized abortion, even when there is a high probability of serious and irreversible deterioration of the fetus or that it is born with a serious disease or terminal. With that ban, the already restrictive Polish legislation, under which some 1,000 legal abortions were carried out a year, thousands of women in this country are forced to abort illegally or abroad.

Several women’s groups have called protests this week in cities across the country under the slogan ‘not one more’. The activists claim that she is the first person to die as a result of the recent restriction of the abortion law in Poland. Some of those who supported the new legislation, for their part, argue that there is no certainty that it caused the woman’s death and accuse the activists of exploiting the situation. The deputy of the ultraconservative party Law and Justice (PiS) Marek Suski has pointed out that “medical errors happen” and that “unfortunately, even today there are women who die during childbirth.”

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