Polish MPs back even tougher restrictions on abortion

If enacted, the ‘stop abortion’ bill would outlaw terminations carried out because of a congenital disorder of the foetus

The Guardian

The Polish parliament has rejected proposed legislation to liberalise abortion laws, voting instead to pass proposals for tough new restrictions to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.

Poland already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, with terminations permitted only when the life of the foetus is under threat, when there is a grave threat to the health of the mother, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

If enacted, the “stop abortion” bill – a so-called citizens’ initiative proposed by hardline conservative groups – would outlaw abortions carried out because of a congenital disorder of the foetus . . . [Full Text]

Polish abortion laws provoke mass Women’s Day protests

DW

Poland’s abortion laws are already very restrictive, now the government is seeking to tighten them further still. But fierce opposition to limits on women’s rights is growing.

For days now, thousands of people have been taking to the streets in Poland to protest restrictions on women’s rights. This is the first time that Anna and Viktor, both in their mid-30s, have taken part in such a demonstration. They are both Catholic, and voted for the ruling right-wing conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) in 2015. In the past they had no interest in “feminist” women’s protests, yet a fateful event and the trauma that followed changed their outlook. . . [Full text]

 

When a doctor’s right to choose trumps a woman’s right to choose

In Italy, conscientious objectors make it difficult to have an abortion

Politico

Guilia Paravicini

On the books, abortion in Italy is legal. In practice, it is out of reach for many women.

An unprecedented wave of so-called conscientious objectors — doctors declining to perform abortions for personal or religious reasons — is sweeping the country. Today, 70 percent of Italian gynecologists and 48.4 percent of anesthesiologists decline to perform terminations, according to a report from the Italian health ministry presented in December.

In more conservative regions such as Sicily and Campania, as much as 84 percent of doctors object to abortion. That leaves a tiny group of abortion providers to deal with a huge demand for terminations. . . [Full text]

 

Polish hospital stops doing abortions after every OB/GYN signs conscience clause

LifeSite News

Natalia Dueholm

RZESZOW, Poland, May 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – An infamous private hospital in Poland has reportedly ceased committing abortions after every doctor at the hospital signed a clause opting out based on conscience.

The abortions at the Specialist Hospital Pro-Familia in Rzeszów were first exposed by midwife Agata Rejman in January 2014 at an emotional press conference where she discussed her traumatic experiences at the hospital. . .  [Full text]

 

Polish baby left screaming for an hour before dying after botched abortion: reports

LifeSite News

Natalia Dueholm

March 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Physicians at Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw, Poland, left a child to die after a botched abortion earlier this month, according to local media.

As Republika Television reports, the baby was born March 7, 2016 at the 24th week of gestational age and cried and screamed for an hour before dying. According to witnesses, the baby’s cry is impossible to forget. Nonetheless, medical personnel did not try to help the child in any way.

Hospital spokesperson Dorota Jasłowska-Niemyska explained that a patient at the end of the 23rd week of pregnancy came to the hospital, and her medical tests suggested that the baby had Down syndrome. The hospital claims that everything that happened thereafter was according to the law and medical procedures. The dignity of the patient and the dignity of the fetus were respected, she continued.

When asked by a reporter of Salve TV about the dignity of a child that had been born alive, Jasłowska-Niemyska said: “Those are details which I can’t talk about. It is confidential, and I am not allowed to comment on the details of this procedure.” . . . [Full Text]

 

Protest held outside Polish embassy in defence of dismissed doctor

News Release

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

Protest at Polish Embassy in London

London: A demonstration has been held outside the Polish embassy in London to protest against the dismissal of Professor Bogdan Chazan from his post at Holy Family Children’s Hospital in Warsaw.

The protest was organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

Professor Chazan was dismissed by the mayor of Warsaw after refusing to grant an abortion to, or refer for an abortion, a woman who was carrying a child with a disability. The child was born and has since died naturally.

Following Professor Chazan’s dismissal, Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland, made a statement saying: “Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, [a doctor] must carry out the law”, according to Polskie Radio.

Regarding the Prime Minister’s comment, Magdalena Ozimic (age 31), one of the protesters and originally from Szczecin (north-west Poland), said:

“It is very important for me to be a witness here as a Pole. We live in terrible anti-life times when even in Poland, where a huge majority declare themselves Catholic, the Prime Minister stands for killing the innocent. As a young adult I wanted to become a doctor, believing I would be saving people’s lives. Unfortunately nowadays, young people who want to save lives may have to think carefully before embarking on a medical career. I hope Dr Chazan will get more support in Catholic Poland and we can do our best here to show our support as pro-lifers.”

The event was attended mostly by young people, particularly from the Polish community. The aim of the demonstration was to call for the reinstatement of Professor Chazan to his post at Holy Family Children’s Hospital and to highlight the injustice of the dismissal. Unfortunately, the demonstration drew no visible reaction from the embassy itself; when enquiries were made, protestors were told that the ambassador was absent.

One Polish demonstrator, Slawek Wrobel, age 36, a historian, said: “I cannot believe that, 10 years after the reign of John Paul II, our Polish pro-life pope, someone who cares about life can be dismissed from their job. I am also astonished that the Mayor of Warsaw, who has put herself forward as a good Catholic, has sacked Dr Chazan.”

Particpants handed out leaflets to passers-by detailing the case of Professor Chazan’s dismissal and the situation surrounding Professor Chazan’s refusal to participate in the abortion.

Katarzyna Jabrocka, age 34, said: “I came here to support the belief that Dr Chazan shouldn’t be dismissed because he supported life. He should be enabled to continue his work as a doctor, and we are here today to support him.”

SPUC’s communications department can be contacted on:

  • email news@spuc.org.uk
  • mobile 07939 177683
  • direct dial landline 020 7820 3129
  • Twitter @spucprolife

The doctor who refused to abort

 Q&A | Bogdan Chazan lost his post heading a Polish government–run maternity hospital after he said his conscience prevented him from killing an unborn child

World Magazine

Daniel James Devine

Polish media outlets have been abuzz this summer with the story of Bogdan Chazan, a prominent Warsaw doctor who refused to provide a woman with an abortion and was subsequently sacked. . .

. . .The Polish doctor’s troubles began in April, when a pregnant woman wrote to his maternity hospital in Warsaw, the Holy Family Hospital, asking for an abortion. She said her personal physician had detected severe developmental defects in the unborn baby. Chazan, a Roman Catholic who has served as director of the hospital for the past 10 years, wrote back, saying he could not provide an abortion due to a “conflict of conscience.” He provided an address to a hospice that could care for the baby after it was born. [Full text]

Anti-abortion doctor fired

The Warsaw Voice

Prof. Bogdan Chazan, a gynecologist who recently became the central figure in a heated pro-life vs. pro-choice dispute, was dismissed as the director of the Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw June 21.

Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz fired Chazan after the media revealed that, citing a “conflict of conscience,” Chazan had refused to perform an abortion on a patient despite clear medical indications.

The patient had requested an abortion after the child she was carrying was diagnosed with severe health problems, including deformities of the head and face.

Under Polish law, a doctor who refuses to perform an abortion in such cases must refer the patient to another doctor or a medical establishment where she can have the pregnancy terminated.

Chazan did not do that. He said that doing so would have made him an “accessory to an abortion.” [Full text]

Lynched, fined, and dismissed: an interview with Poland’s Dr. Bogdan Chazan

LifeSite News

Natalia Duholm

Earlier this month, Dr. Bogdan Chazan, a renowned pro-life doctor in Poland and head of the gynecology and obstetrics department at Holy Family Hospital, was sacked and fined after he refused to participate in abortion. He spoke with LifeSiteNews about his ordeal. (See bottom for background on his case.)

Dr. Chazan, you were lynched by the media, your hospital was fined, and you were dismissed as hospital director.  Does it often happen that doctors in Poland are punished as severely as you were?

Not very often.  I’d even say very rarely.  Generally, with people like me, things are dealt with in a quiet way.  For example, more often, big corporations do not hire gynecologists who do not prescribe birth control. Nobody openly talks about the use of the “conscientious objection.”  Things are hushed up, with no paper trail.

For instance, I know about a case where a well-known pro-life woman was denied a post-doctoral track.  Recently, one of the candidates for director of the gynecology department at the Medical University was asked if he had signed the Declaration of Faith/Conscience (Editor’s note: This was an open letter signed by thousands of doctors in Poland; among other things, it voiced opposition to abortion.).  He admitted he had, and did not get the job.  Perhaps, there were other circumstances, too, but I don’t know. [Full text]

Abortion row child dies

 Polski Radio

The baby at the centre of a pro-life row that has divided Poles died on Wednesday just hours after the professor who refused to abort the child was informed he would be dismissed.

Marcin Dubienecki, lawyer of the child’s mother, confirmed that the baby – which had serious brain defects – had been born in Warsaw’s Bielanski Hospital on 30 June.

“On behalf of my client, I am passing on the information that the child ‘whose life was saved’ by Professor Chazan died at 8.35 pm [on Wednesday],” he told the TVN24 news channel.

“The child was in a very serious condition. “All of the arguments that the child should never have been born proved correct,” he claimed. [Full text]