Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Poland loses ruling in abortion case

Last Updated: 25/09/2007 12:17
Poland loses ruling in abortion case

The European Court of Human Rights today confirmed Poland will have to pay compensation to a woman who nearly went blind after being denied an abortion under strict Polish laws.

Poland had appealed an order by the Strasbourg-based court in March to pay the woman €39,000. Judges rejected that appeal yesterday, a court spokesman said this afternoon.

The verdict in March enraged the conservative government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The ruling coalition has been pushing for a total ban on abortion in the predominantly Roman Catholic country, which already has one of the strictest abortion laws in the European Union.

Polish law allows a pregnancy to be terminated only when it threatens the life or health of the mother, when the baby is likely to be permanently handicapped or when it originates from rape.

In March, the European based court ruled that Alicja Tysiac, whose eyesight worsened after the baby girl was born and who is now registered as disabled, had been denied her human rights under Poland's anti-abortion laws.

Ms Tysiac, who is bringing up three children alone, suffers from an eye disease and cannot see objects more than 1.50 metres away. She receives a monthly disability pension equivalent to €140.

Ms Tysiac became pregnant in 2000. Three doctors told her she could go blind if she gave birth to her third child, but they refused to write her a certificate that would authorise an abortion.

No comments: