Activist sentenced for providing abortion pills to pregnant woman

It is a sentence that could have serious consequences for women in Poland. A Polish activist was sentenced by a Warsaw court on Tuesday to community service for assisting with an abortion, her organization Abortion Dream Team said. Justyna Wydrzynska, who provided abortion pills to a pregnant woman, was found “guilty” and sentenced to “eight months of community service at the rate of 30 hours a month”, the organization whose organization she wrote on Twitter wrote. is co-founder.

“I don’t feel guilty, I don’t accept this verdict,” the main interested party told the press as she left the court, indicating that she was going to appeal and that she was going to continue to help women. The content of the judgment has not been made public.

Up to three years in prison

“Today’s sentencing marks a new chasm in the repression of reproductive rights in Poland: a setback for which women and girls – and those who defend their rights – are paying a heavy price,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International in a statement. “This case sets a dangerous precedent in Poland, where abortion is almost completely banned, and provides chilling insight into the consequences of such restrictive laws,” she added.

The activist risked up to three years in prison for having “provided assistance with abortion” and “having marketed drugs without authorization”, according to Polish legislation, one of the strictest in Europe.

Prevented by her husband from going to Germany

In 2020, a woman in the 12th week of pregnancy, and wanting to interrupt her, asked for help from Justyna Wydrzynska, a member of the collective Abortion Dream Team. Previously, this woman wanted to go to an abortion clinic in Germany, but her husband prevented her from leaving. While the woman was waiting at home for a package with the pills, her husband called the police who confiscated the medicine and opened an investigation. The woman subsequently miscarried.

Poland, a country with a Catholic tradition, already had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe when the Constitutional Court last year sided with the populist-nationalist government in declaring the interruptions of pregnancy for “unconstitutional” fetal malformation. Abortion Dream Team claims to have made possible 44,000 abortions in 2022, or 107 per day.

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