The Polish constitution protects human life. If the Constitutional Tribunal ruled in 1997 that the social condition was unconstitutional, and in 2020 that the condition was caused by illness or disability, how can the constitution require abortion up to 12 weeks without restrictions? – says Jakub Bałtroszewicz, President of the Polish Federation of Life Defense Movements in a commentary for KAI, referring to the “Legal Abortion Without Compromises” project, which will be discussed by the Sejm tonight. He adds that while the project’s authors describe themselves as socially sensitive leftists, they are not interested in helping families with disabled children.
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The bill “On Safe Termination of Pregnancy and Other Reproductive Rights” is a civil law proposal introduced by the Citizens’ Initiative Committee “Legal Abortion Without Compromise”, created by the circles behind the protests that took place across Poland after the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal of October 22, 2020. It The Constitutional Tribunal then announced that the so-called The eugenic premise that allows legal abortion due to serious, irreversible genetic defects, which was legal under the then law, is contrary to the Polish constitution.
By law, a civil draft must be submitted to the Sejm within three months of submission to the Marshal’s cane, along with a minimum of 100,000. signatures of citizens. 104.5 thousand people signed the left-wing initiative. people. The first reading will be held in the Sejm on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, MPs will vote on whether it will be referred for further work in the parliamentary committee or rejected.
In a commentary for KAI, Jakub Bałtroszewicz, president of the Polish Federation of Life Defense Movements, which unites more than 30 pro-life organizations, admitted that the authors of the citizens’ initiative “Legal Abortion Without Compromise” were somehow in it. passed society, although previously for such projects – if published – the required number of signatures was not collected.
On the other hand, the PFROŻ chairman said he was confident in the fate of the left-wing project in parliament. – There are Constitutional Court rulings – first from 1997, chaired by Prof. Andrzej Zoll, and then from 2020, the Polish constitution protects human lives. This project is completely unconstitutional. If the 1997 Constitutional Tribunal judgment declared the social premise for abortion introduced by SLD unconstitutional, and the 2020 judgment says that illness or disability cannot be a ground for abortion and this premise is also unconstitutional, how can a constitutional abortion up then? to 12. week of life with virtually no limits? – said Bałtroszewicz.
– Yes, I know that Law and Justice has promised that social projects will be submitted to the committee, but I do not know whether, in the context of the Legislative Initiative Committee chaired by Ms Marta Lempart, this promise should be kept – commented the President of the Polish Federation of Life Defense Movements.
“I believe that since the bill is clearly unconstitutional, there is no point in debating it. You don’t have to be a lawyer to see the extreme contradiction between the rulings of the constitutional tribunals and this bill,” he said. – In light of the current constitution, abortion in Poland cannot be allowed in the formula without restrictions until the age of 12 weeks – he recalled.
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Referring to the title of the bill, he emphasizes: “There is no such thing as a safe abortion. Abortion always ends in the death of a child, there is no safety whatsoever. It is a somewhat perverse name.”
According to Bałtroszewicz, “It is also typical of the left that he tries to bewitch reality with changes in definition, he tries to name it again, so that he can accuse people who do not support abortion of being against reproductive rights, and therefore against human rights” .
Bałtroszewicz said it was visible at the level of the European Parliament, which was recently noticed by the Supreme Court in the United States in the case of the so-called De Roe v. Wade Act, ie provisions allowing for termination of pregnancy, enacted in 1973 – the EP issued a statement that the 1973 judgment cannot be changed, which was absolutely beyond the competence of the EU Parliament – he recalled.
So what was the intention of the proponents of the left-wing project to launch this initiative? According to Jakub Bałtroszewicz, these people know that they have collected signatures on the unconstitutional project, but they were led by an attempt to further polarize Polish society.
– This is an attempt to heat up the dispute that erupted after the 2020 verdict. These circles have gained a lot from this dispute – political and financial capital. That’s why they’re very interested in heating up the abortion dispute. They prefer not to be interested in struggling to find appropriate legal and social solutions for parents of disabled and sick children who come into the world; that these children are well cared for, have access to rehabilitation and that their parents have social support. These are urgent matters. These circles, while describing themselves as the socially sensitive left, are not prone to these issues – the PFROŻ president summed up.
The “Legal abortion without compromise” project assumes (Art. 1) that: “Every pregnant woman has the right to healthcare in the form of termination of pregnancy until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy”.
The same also applies to pregnancy after the 12th week of its duration (Section 2) if: (Section 1) the pregnancy presents a “danger to the life or physical or mental health” of the pregnant woman; (point 2) the results of antenatal diagnosis or other medical indications indicate that there are developmental or genetic abnormalities of the fetus or (point 3) the pregnancy “results from a prohibited act which is the subject of a declaration by a pregnant person”.
In cases where there is a genetic defect or a prohibited act, abortion should be allowed until the end of the 24th week of pregnancy, and if the abnormalities found in the child affect the future ability to get out of the mother’s body make life impossible, the abortion must be performed. allowed after the 24th week of pregnancy.
The abortion must be performed (paragraph 3) “as early as possible in the development of the pregnancy, according to the current state of medical knowledge”. This benefit is intended to consist of “induction of miscarriage by the pharmacological method or by surgery”.
The drafters of the draft also require that if the doctor refuses to perform an abortion in accordance with the proposed provisions, referring to art. 39 of the Law on the Professions of Doctors and Dentists (conscience clause), the head of the hospital employing the doctor is obliged to designate another doctor who will provide “health services in the same therapeutic entity”.
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The draft also introduces (Art. 6) amendments to the Criminal Code. It abolishes art. 152 (imprisonment of up to 3 years for those who, with the woman’s consent, terminate her pregnancy in contravention of the provisions of the law, who assist or persuade a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy) and, to the same extent, Art. . 157a (“Anyone who inflicts physical injury on a conceived child or harms health that threatens his life will be punished by a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years”).