Alicja (2000) – Poland

Polish women denied a legal abortion for health reasons went nearly blind as result

Alicja Tysiac was repeatedly refused an abortion despite suffering from myopia. The pregnancy created a serious risk that she would lose her eyesight. But she was refused again, despite finally getting the required permission under law. Unable to afford an illegal abortion, she was forced to carry to term, resulting in a serious deterioration of her eyesight and a risk of eventual complete blindness.

Alicja took her case to the European Court of Human Rights. In 2007, the court held in a 6 to 1 vote that there was a violation of Article 8, Right to private life. She was awarded 25,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage and 14,000 euros for costs and expenses.

Center for Reproductive Rights, Tysiac vs. Poland: Ensuring Effective Access to Legal Abortion
The Guardian, Court censures Poland for denying abortion rights, March 21, 2007.