Poland: Abortion rights activist sentenced to eight months’ community service

Poland: Abortion rights activist sentenced to eight months' community service

An abortion rights activist in Poland has been sentenced to eight months of community service after being found guilty of facilitating abortion.

Justyna Wydrzyńska was convicted by a court in Warsaw of helping a pregnant woman to access abortion pills for an at-home abortion.

It is not a crime under Polish law to perform your own abortion or to possess abortion pills for that purpose, but any person who assists can be jailed for up to three years.

Ms Wydrzyńska’s lawyers have said they will appeal the court’s decision.

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said: “Today’s conviction marks a depressing low in the repression of reproductive rights in Poland: a roll-back for which women and girls — and those who defend their rights — are paying a high price.

“The case sets a dangerous precedent in Poland, where abortion is nearly completely banned, and offers a chilling snapshot of the consequences of such restrictive laws.

“Justyna should have never been put on trial in the first place because what she did should never be a crime.

“By supporting a woman who asked for help, Justyna showed compassion. By defending the right to safe abortion in Poland, Justyna showed courage. Today’s craven judgement shows neither. The conviction must be overturned.”

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