Court in Poland convicts activist of assisting with abortion

A Polish activist has been sentenced to community service by a court in Warsaw for assisting in abortion. Justyna Wydrzynska, who provided a pregnant woman with abortion pills, was “found guilty of providing assistance (…)”, the organization Abortion Dream Team, of which Wydrzynska is a co-founder, said on Twitter on Tuesday.

For this, she was sentenced to “eight months of community service, 30 hours a month,” the organization added. “I don’t feel guilty, I don’t accept this verdict,” Wydrzynska told reporters as he left the court. She wants to appeal and continue helping women, she said.

One of the most restrictive abortion laws

In 2020, a 12-week pregnant woman who wanted an abortion contacted the Abortion Dream Team organization. The woman had previously tried to go to an abortion clinic in Germany, but her husband had prevented her from doing so. While the pregnant woman was waiting for a package of abortion pills, her husband called the police, who confiscated the pills and launched an investigation. The woman suffered a miscarriage.

Traditionally Catholic Poland already had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe when last year the constitutional court sided with the right-wing nationalist government and declared abortions to be unconstitutional, even if the fetus was deformed. According to their own statements, Abortion Dream Team made 44,000 abortions possible last year.

“Blow in the Oppression”

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said: “Today’s verdict marks a new low in the repression of reproductive rights in Poland: a setback that has cost women and girls – and those fighting for their rights – a high price have to pay the price”.

The case sets a dangerous precedent in Poland, where abortion is almost completely banned, Callamard added. Under strict Polish law, the activist faced up to three years in prison for “aiding an abortion” and “marketing drugs without a permit.”

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