Poland to Appeal Anti-Life Rulings to European Court of Human Rights

The Polish government is considering filing appeals to the European Court of Human Rights in protest of two recent landmark rulings.

At issue is a Court decision ordering Poland to pay €25,000 in compensation for "wrongful birth" to a woman who was denied an abortion, and a ruling that declared Poland's 2005 ban on a gay parade in Warsaw was illegal.

Polish Radio reported on the proposal put forward for discussion by Marek Jurek, leader of the Polish Right. Jurek said the Court of Human Rights decisions violated the rights guaranteed in Polish law, which states:

"We expect the government to stand up for the right to life, ethics in medicine, and also the right of our local governments to manage the public space of our cities, and to protect public morality and social order."

In the wrongful birth case of Tysiac v. Poland the Court did not consider the child, a girl now six years old, said lawyer Janusz Siekanski, quoted by Polish Radio. As well, the ruling assumed a "right to abortion" in Poland.

"Under the Polish law there is no such thing as a ‘right to abortion'," Siekanski stated. "There are several exemptions to the general prohibition of abortion. Under those exemptions abortion is not criminalized. But these exemptions do not constitute any ‘right to abortion'. Such a conclusion would be in a clear conflict with the right to life of the unborn child who is under protection of the Polish law, including the Polish Constitution. This was confirmed, among others, by the decision of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal in the year 1997."

The decision to declare banning a gay pride parade illegal, in the case of Baczkowski v. Poland, relied on the position that Poland must be governed by European norms.

MP Artur Zawisza accused the European Court of Human Rights of ideological motivation in the ruling. He said the court unjustly interfered with the integrity and sovereignty of the democratically elected authorities of Poland.

"You must not deprive the Polish local governments of the freedom to decide about the public space," Zawisza stated. "They have the right to refer to a constitutional norm which gives them the possibility to prevent these kinds of events in the name of the protection of public morality. Polish Constitution guarantees that right to the Polish authorities and this right should not be undermined by a European body."

During the recent World Congress of Families IV held in Warsaw, Polish leaders defied the European Union's demands that the country conform to EU regulations requiring the establishment of abortion and homosexual rights in member nations. Poland came under attack by Members of the European Parliament last month when an EP debate and resolution condemned the country for being "hateful" and "repulsive" for refusing to permit promotion of homosexuality in the schools.

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