Social Issues

Polish court rules to enforce almost blanket ban on abortion

Berlin, Oct 22 (efe-epa).- Poland’s top court on Thursday ruled that abortions in the case of congenital defects were unconstitutional, a move that all but bans the termination of pregnancy altogether.

Women in Poland can only get an abortion in cases of rape, incest or if the pregnancy poses a serious threat to health, according to the ruling.

It was based on a case filed by the country’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), an ultra-conservative and nationalist group.

The case was handed up to the constitutional court last year following the end of the previous legislature.

The presiding judge in the case was Julia Przylebska, who was nominated by PiS.

The plaintiffs argued that abortion in the case of fetal abnormalities was a form of eugenics and did not respect human dignity. It therefore did not comply with the constitution, they said.

Critics of the government have questioned the impartiality of the court and judicial reforms pushed through by the PiS government are the subject of a European Union legal infringement case.

Officials in Brussels have accused Warsaw of deliberately eroding the independence of the country’s judges.

There was an immediate political reaction to the ruling. Artur Dziambor, PiS lawmaker, tweeted: “Life has won!”

Marcelina Zawisza, a member of the left-wing Razem party, said: “The PiS court has prohibited abortion in Poland. Women in Poland will be tortured. They will have children with anencephaly, with spina bifida, without a heart … children who will die in agony.”

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