.- The European Court of Human Rights has ruled Poland must compensate a woman who was denied access to “therapeutic abortion” because her life was never in danger. The woman identified as Alicja Tysiac requested an abortion out of fear that her third pregnancy would aggravate her near-sightedness.
Polish law permits abortion in cases of rape, life of the mother, or fetal deformation. Tysiac’s case, which occurred in 2000, was reviewed at the time by various Polish doctors who determined she did not meet any of the legal requirements. Although she insisted on having an abortion, doctors told her that her life was not in danger.
Tysiac gave birth to the child by c-section and shortly after suffered a partial detachment of her retina, which aggravated her near-sightedness.
She took her case to the European Court of Human Rights, headquartered in Strasburg, which ruled in her favor this week. It said Poland should pay her $51,000 in compensation. Speaking to reporters after the hearing, she demanded abortion on demand be legalized.
The ruling passed on a 6-1 vote, with only the Spanish judge Javier Borrego voting no.
“The Court has ruled that a human being was born as the result of a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights,” Borrego wrote in his dissent. “According to this logic, there is a seven year-old Polish child whose right to be born contradicts the Convention. I never thought the Convention would go so far and I find it to be terrifying,” he said.
Polish congressman Szymon Pawlowski of the League of Polish Families called the ruling “embarrassing and scandalous.” He said his group would propose a denunciation of the European Court of Human Rights by the Polish government.