Thousands of people demonstrated this Saturday throughout Poland in protest against the restrictive anti-abortion law in force in the country, after the death of a pregnant woman who, according to her family, could have been saved by this procedure.
In Warsaw, the march began in front of the Constitutional Court, which with its judgment of 2020 made abortion illegal in practically all cases, to go later to the Ministry of Health.
The protesters, who at the beginning of the protest already numbered in the thousands, as can be seen from aerial photos, they carried banners with slogans such as “Could be alive”, “Women’s rights, human rights”, as well as photos of the deceased.
The trigger for this new wave of protests against the abortion law was the death of a 30-year-old woman, identified in the media only as Izabela, which occurred on September 22, but was revealed by her family a week ago.
“The doctors waited for the fetus to die. The fetus died, the patient died. Septic shock”Jolanta Budzowska, a lawyer for the family, wrote in a tweet. According to her, Izabela is the first victim of the Constitutional Court decision of October 2020, which came into effect at the end of January.
The woman was admitted 22 weeks pregnant to a hospital in Pszczyna (in southern Poland), where doctors ruled that the fetus could not survive due to severe abnormalities and loss of all amniotic fluid.
Despite this, according to the family’s lawyer, refused to perform an abortion while the fetus’s heart was still beating, which ended up causing the woman’s death from septic shock shortly after it was removed by cesarean section.
The protest held in Warsaw was joined by, among others, the mayor of the capital Rafal Trzaskowski and the head of the opposition Civic Platform party and former president of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
“A doctor who wants to save a woman’s life has to wonder if Mr. Ziobro will put him in jail”Tusk had warned this Friday, referring to the Minister of Justice, of the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS), in a call for more people to join the protests.
“I am here for you no woman’s life will ever be in danger again. Current legislation is killing women “said Ewa Pietrzyk, a citizen in her 40s who carried a photo of Izabela.
According to a statement from the Izabela’s family, the doctors at the Pszczyna hospital “adopted a waiting attitude”, which they related to “current regulations that limit the possibility of a legal abortion.”
“The boy weighs 485 grams. For now, thanks to the abortion law, I have to stay in bed. And there is nothing they can do. They will wait until I die or (…) I get septicemia, ”Izabela wrote to her mother in a message that was made public.
Married for ten years, Izabela was the mother of a nine-year-old girl.
However, according to the nationalists in power, the death of the young woman was not due to the decision of the Court.
After the case came to light a week ago, the Katowice regional prosecutor’s office opened an investigation and the MThe Ministry of Health has ordered an audit to determine if the hospital committed negligence.
Since the controversial Supreme Court ruling, which became effective earlier this year, abortion is only allowed in Poland if the pregnancy is the result of rape or if the mother’s life is in danger, although some ultra-Catholic groups want to eliminate even these assumptions.
Other concentrations against the abortion law, called under the slogan “Not one more”, are scheduled for Sunday and Monday.
With information from EFE and AFP