International pro-choice groups launch abortion hotline for Poles

Baby 1 Credit Unsplash CNA Unsplash.

A coalition of abortion advocacy groups has launched a hotline service to inform Polish women on how to procure abortion inside and outside of the largely pro-life country.

"Abortion without Borders" was released Dec. 11 by a collaboration of six pro-abortion organizations, including Abortion Dream Team, Kobiety w Sieci, and the Abortion Support Network.

The service will advise callers on how to purchase abortion drugs online or refer them to abortion clinics in the Netherlands, Britain, or Germany. The project will also provide financial assistance to women unable to afford the process. According to the Guardian, this may cover travel and medical costs.

The project will be offered to women seeking an abortion in Poland, which has some of the most pro-life laws in Europe. The country bans abortion except in cases of fetal abnormalities, rape, incest, or life-threatening emergencies.

According to Thomas Reuters Foundation News, official figures state that about 1,000 women receive an abortion in Poland each year, but abortion advocates believe the number to be much higher. They estimate that tens of thousands of women receive an abortion annually through abortion drugs ordered online or by traveling to other countries to get the procedure.

Last month, Poland was among 11 countries affirming the univeral right to life on the sidelines of the Nairobi Summit, saying the gathering was too focused on "reproductive rights."

The joint statement said "there is no international right to abortion; in fact, international law clearly states that '[e]veryone has the right to life' (e.g. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)."

"The ICPD notes that countries should 'take appropriate steps to help women avoid abortion, which in no case should be promoted as a method of family planning' (ICPD 7.24) and to 'reduce the recourse to abortion' strongly affirming that '… [a]ny measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process' (ICPD paragraph 8.25)."

The bishops of Poland issued a pro-life statement in 2018 after the "Halt Abortion" bill was approved by the parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights. If passed, the law would prohibit the practice of eugenic abortions – those procured because of an unborn child's congenital disorder or genetic deformity.

"Every conceived child has the right to birth and to life, regardless of innate diseases and genetic defects. The role of the state is to provide protection for every citizen, also in its first stage of life," said Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan, president of the Polish bishops' conference.

"The right to life is a fundamental human right, there is no doubt in this matter," Archbishop Gadecki added in a recent statement.

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