Pregnant woman’s death reignites protests against Poland’s abortion law

Thousands have taken to the streets across Poland to protest against the country’s strict abortion law, following the death of a 30-year-old woman with pregnancy complications.

A protest in Warsaw, Polands capital, held under the slogan Not one more against restricting access to abortion, after a 30-year-old woman with pregnancy complications died in a hospital in Pszczyna, southern Poland.

A protest in Warsaw, Poland’s capital, held under the slogan „Not one more” against restricting access to abortion, after a 30-year-old woman with pregnancy complications died in a hospital in Pszczyna, southern Poland. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The story of a 30-year-old-woman, who, according to her family, had been left waiting too long for an abortion, galvanized the nation last weekend, when it was first reported.

Izabela, was taken to a hospital in her 22nd week of pregnancy in the southern town of Pszczyna, when her fetal waters broke.

The fetus had been found to be developmentally impaired, the state PAP news agency reported.

While in the hospital, the woman suffered a septic shock and died. Relatives claim doctors had delayed terminating the pregnancy for too long, which contributed to the death. 

The story has reignited debates over abortion in Poland and sparked a new wave of demonstrations across the country.

On Saturday, thousands of Poles protested in over 70 cities and towns under the slogan „Not one more.”

The Warsaw protest started in front of the building of the Constitutional Tribunal and marched towards the seat of the Polish health ministry.Hundreds of protesters gathered at Castle Square in Warsaw, Poland's capital, to take part in a protest against restricting access to abortion, after a 30-year-old woman with pregnancy complications died in a hospital in Pszczyna, southern Poland. 6 November, 2021.Hundreds of protesters gathered at Castle Square in Warsaw, Poland’s capital, to take part in a protest against restricting access to abortion, after a 30-year-old woman with pregnancy complications died in a hospital in Pszczyna, southern Poland. 6 November, 2021.

Poland’s constitutional court last year ruled that abortion due to serious fetal defects and severe illnesses violated the country’s constitution.

Under the new regulations, a pregnancy may only be terminated if it endangers the life or health of the woman or if it is a result of „a forbidden act,” such as rape or incest.

Meanwhile, the Pszczyna hospital announced it had suspended two doctors who were on duty at the time of the woman’s death, PAP reported.

Prosecutors and National Health Fund officials are investigating the case, according to PAP.

(ał)

Source: PAP

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