WARSAW, Poland – Poland’s prime minister has declared that doctors’ opposition to abortion does not give them the right to refuse to kill a child in the womb, even under Poland’s strict abortion rules.
“Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, [a doctor] must carry out the law,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a June 10 statement, according to Polskie Radio.
“Every patient must be sure that … the doctor will perform all procedures in accordance with the law and in accordance with his duties,” Tusk said.
Poland’s laws only permit abortion if a woman’s life or health is jeopardized by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape, or if the unborn child is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out in the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.
According to Polish law on conscience rights, doctors may still decline such abortions, but they are obliged to refer patients elsewhere.
Tusk’s statement came following the decision by obstetrician Bogdan Chazan, director of Holy Family Children’s Hospital in Warsaw, to refuse to grant an abortion to a woman who alleged that the child she was carrying had severe brain damage. . . [Full text]