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Polish activist Justyna Wydrzynska was sentenced for assisting in an abortion



The activist claims that she wanted to help a victim of domestic violence

A Polish court found activist Justyna Wydrzynska guilty of supplying abortion pills to a pregnant woman and sentenced her to eight months of community service, the Polish NGO Abortion Dream Team announced.

The activist was charged with assisting in an abortion and illegal possession of medication, for which she faced up to three years in prison.

In a statement before the court, Justyna Wydrzynska rejected the conviction and announced an appeal. She defended herself in court that she sent the pills to a pregnant woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

She also confirmed that she will continue to answer phone calls for the Aborcyjny Dream Team, which she co-founded, to offer help to women in need. According to the organization, Wydrzynska assisted in 44,000 abortions last year.

According to the Aborcyjny Dream Team, in the case that landed Wydrzynska in court, a woman called an abortion hotline and asked for help terminating her pregnancy. The activist mailed the pills she had at home to a woman, a victim of domestic violence, but the pregnant woman’s partner intercepted them and reported the matter to the police.

The pills I had for personal use and sent are currently the safest way to terminate a pregnancy in Poland. I didn’t want Ania to risk her life by taking dangerous steps, because this solution is simple and medically safe,Wydrzynska said in court.

Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Abortion is prohibited in the country, except in cases of rape and incest or when the mother’s life or health is at risk. The legislation was further tightened in 2020, when the Constitutional Court agreed with the government and ruled that termination of pregnancy due to fetal defects is unconstitutional.

Precedential condemnation of assisted termination of pregnancy

Assistance in terminating a pregnancy is also prohibited, and according to Amnesty International, the Polish court issued the first such sentence in Europe.

Head of the organization Agnes Callamard said the case presents “a dangerous precedent in Poland, where abortion is almost completely banned“. As she said, the suppression of reproductive rights in Poland “a setback for which women and girls – and those who defend their rights – are paying a high price“.

“Guilty of offering assistance”

Guilty: offering to help,” the organization Aborcyjny Dream Team, whose co-founder is the convicted woman, wrote on Twitter after the verdict.

According to the words Natalie Broniarczyk, also from the aforementioned organization, in the case of Wydrzynska, politics also played its role. “We believe that the prosecutor did not request the maximum penalty because it is an election year,” she said, adding that surveys show that the majority of Polish citizens support the liberalization of abortion laws.

Source: Rtvslo

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