Court Orders Abortion Access in Poland

Even where abortion is severely restricted, it must be available to women legally entitled
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2007 9:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Even countries that severely restrict abortion must make them available to those who are entitled to them by law, the European court of human rights ruled yesterday. A Polish mother sued because her fourth pregnancy's damage to her failing eyesight made her legally eligible for an abortion to preserve her health, but a doctor refused her anyway.

Because Poland very right-wing government bans abortions except to protect the mother's health, or if the pregnancy results from sexual violence,  practitioners fear to perform the procedure even on women who qualify. The court ruled that Polish law must include "an effective mechanism capable of determining whether the conditions for obtaining a lawful abortion had been met."