Following the judgment by the PiS-controlled Constitutional Tribunal in Poland that further restricts the access to abortion even in cases of severe fetal defects, S&D leader Iratxe García Pérez said:
“I am speechless. In today’s Poland, an EU member state in the XXI century, the lives and health of Polish women are subordinated to a purely political calculation and ideological motivation. I am appalled by both the barbaric character of the new restrictions, and the way they were introduced by the Tribunal that does not deserve its name, as it is totally controlled by PiS, Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party.
“Poland has already one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the EU. This judgment means there will almost be a complete ban on abortion in Poland. It is an appalling attack on women: a breach of women’s fundamental rights, as even in extreme cases of severe birth defects or fetal abnormalities Polish women will be deprived of the right to decide if they wish to terminate their pregnancy. As a consequence, even more women may be pushed to undergo illegal, unsafe and life-threatening abortions.
“It is also shocking how the decision was taken: the PiS-controlled Court lost its independence and legitimacy following the judiciary reforms, condemned even by the European Commission. Today Polish women are being direct victims of the absence of the rule of law. This only strengthens the resolve of my Group not to give up the fight for an effective mechanism to protect the rule of law in the EU.
“Finally, it is not a coincidence that the decision to further restrict the access to abortion was taken at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is obvious that Covid-19 related restrictions did not allow Polish women to claim their rights in the same way as they did in the past, when women’s massive protests effectively forced the Polish authority to back down.
“I promise to Polish women that the Socialists and Democrats will continue to fight for their fundamental rights.”
Note to the editor:
Today, women in Poland are legally only allowed to undergo abortion in three circumstances: if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, if the mother’s life is at risk, or if there is a fetal abnormality. The ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal prohibits abortion in the third case, resulting in practice in an almost complete ban on abortion.