The European Court of Human Rights handed down a 6-1 ruling which demanded that Poland compensate a mother who claims she was refused an abortion based on discrimination due to her sex and her visual disability.
Poland's current laws only allow for the unborn child to be killed in its mother's womb in cases of rape, when the child is seriously malformed, and when the health of the mother would be in grave danger were she to carry the child to full term.
Tysiac claims that in 2000 she found out that she was pregnant with her third child. At that time, according to her complaint, she was warned by numerous doctors that her pregnancy and delivery of another child could result in a deterioration of her myopic eye condition.
She further claims that the gynecologist that she saw destroyed her abortion referral saying that her health was not in serious danger and her condition did not warrant an abortion under Polish law.
Tysiac also claims that, after delivering her child, she suffered what was diagnosed as a retinal hemorrhage which rendered her "significantly disabled" and in fear of going blind. Tysiac, who raises her three children on her own, receives a monthly disability pension of 140 euros.
After giving birth to her third child and having her case dismissed in Polish courts, Alicja Tysiac took her case to the European Union court in 2002 with the help of the "human rights" NGO, Interights.
According to the court's official summary of the judgment, Tysiac also complained that "no procedural and regulatory framework had been put in place to enable a pregnant woman to assert her right to a therapeutic abortion, thus rendering that right ineffective."
A typical strategy for abortion advocates has long been to use emotion generating hard cases, (often falsified, as in the two Supreme Court cases that legalized abortion on demand in the US) to open a wedge that inevitably leads to full abortion on demand.
In 2004, the United Nations Human Rights Committee reprimanded Poland for its pro-life laws and demanded that the strongly Catholic nation "liberalize" its abortion laws. In January of this year, the UN committee that oversees the ‘Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women' also took Poland to task over several pro-life issues including "accusations" that the Polish government promoted natural family planning over contraception and allowed pro-life doctors the right to employ a "conscience clause" in abortion matters.
Poland submitted her European Union accession treaty with the caveat that "no EU treaties or annexes to those treaties would hamper the Polish government in regulating moral issues or those concerning the protection of human life."
In recent months, both the Polish president and the deputy prime-minister have publicly voiced their continuing belief in traditional family values.
Read the Court's press release and full ruling.
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