On the 22 of October 2020, Poland‘s Constitutional Tribunal rendered a historic decision declaring eugenic abortion – which make up around 98% of all legal terminations in Poland, a country which generally prohibits abortion – contrary to the Constitution.
According to the legal motion filed by 119 Polish MPs (members of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland), the problem lies mainly in Article 4a of the Act of 7 January 1993 on family planning, protection of the human foetus and admissibility conditions for the termination of pregnancy (the Abortion Act), that legalized eugenic abortion: termination of a pregnancy can be legally procured in Poland if prenatal tests or other medical conditions indicate a high probability of severe and irreversible impairment of the foetus or an incurable disease threatening his life.
joining dozens other international NGOs, PRO VITA Bucharest submitted before the said Tribunal an amici curiae drafted by Polish legal organization Ordo Iuris. By submitting the amici, we emphasized that according to the Polish Constitution the source of all freedoms and rights is dignity and it not only belongs to each human being, but it cannot be relinquished. There is a close connection between the protection of human dignity and legal guarantees of the protection of human life in Polish law.
The Constitutional Tribunal ruled these provisions are non-compliant with Article 30 of the Polish Constitution, as they contradict the main values guaranteed by the fundamental law of Poland, such as protection of human life in all its stages, from conception to natural death. In fact, the Abortion Act enforces a negative selection of human beings in pre-natal stage on the grounds of their health condition, resulting in the systematic extermination of people with disabilities or illnesses. It should be pointed out that this constitutes eugenic practices, that should not be permitted in a democratic and law-abiding state.
In a press release from the Constitutional Tribunal, released ahead of the written decision, the Tribunal stated “that the unborn child, as a human being who is entitled to inherent and inalienable dignity, is a subject having the right to life, and the legal system must guarantee due protection for this central good.” The Tribunal also called on the government to review the level of support provided to parents.
PRO VITA Bucharest welcomes this decision, which will save countless lives and will hopefully contribute to making European society more welcoming to people with disabilities.
Read here the amici curiae.