Conscientious Objection in Poland

Dispatches: Abortion and the ‘Conscience Clause’ in Poland

October 22, 2014
Hillary Margolis
Researcher, Women’s Rights Division

Poland is one of a select few countries in Europe where access to abortion remains extremely limited: it’s a crime to terminate a pregnancy except in cases of risk to the mother’s life or health, severe fetal abnormality, or rape. In Europe, only Ireland and Malta have more restrictive laws.

The United Nations has taken Poland to task for its abortion laws and practices, and is likely to do so again today. After a visit in 2009, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health called for the government to remove barriers to safe abortion. A UN expert body, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, also criticized Poland’s abortion record in 2007. At a meeting today with Polish officials, this committee will undoubtedly focus on the lack of progress on access to safe, legal abortion.

Read full story:  Human Rights Watch

Polish doctor fired for refusing to allow woman have abortion

Prof Bogdan Chazan one of 3,000 physicians who have signed a ‘declaration of faith’
Thu, Jul 10, 2014

A doctor in Poland has been fired from the hospital he works for after refusing to allow a woman have an abortion because of a “conflict of conscience” with his Catholicism.

In April this year, the pregnant woman asked Professor Bogdan Chazan, director of Warsaw’s Holy Family Hospital, for an abortion because her own physician had diagnosed her unborn child with grave health problems.

Prof Chazan sent the woman a letter saying he could not agree to an abortion in his hospital because of a “conflict of conscience,” and instead gave the woman the address of a hospice where, he said, the child could get palliative care once born.

Read full story:  Irish Times