European Court Orders Pro-Life Poland to Compensate Mom Denied Abortion

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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  • Guest

    This is why abortion should not be allowed under any circumstances.  When the door is open even slightly, it paves the way for situations like this.  Furthermore, the woman should have had a c-section, which would have drastically reduced her risk of developing a retinal hemorrhage during the delivery.

  • Guest

    So let me get this straight.

    For the past five years this blind woman has been raising her three children, while at the same time she has been fighting in the courts because she was not allowed to kill the youngest of the three in the womb. 

    How does she rationalize her dailly mothering of this child? 

    Talk about being blind.

  • Guest

    Like the case of the woman who is suing because her abortion failed, what are these women going to tell their children when they are old enough to understand?  These children are going to find out, one way or another, this is the type of secret that doesn't stay buried.  How are those children going to feel?  If either of them do get any money out of this, they better start saving for the therapy bills, because those children are going to need some serious counseling!!!

  • Guest

    Sorry, second point, her case really isn't the fact that she couldn't have an abortion, but that she wasn't allowed to have a c-section, as the person in the first reply pointed out.  If she had had the procedure, she would have been fine, hence, no case.  This should be about the treatment she received for delivering her baby, not about not getting to destroy her child.  Even if she did have a c-section, her life was never threatened, she was never going to die as a result of her carrying that child, which is what the law seems to be upholding.


    I don't want to appear heartless, but like in this country, if she has a condition like that and she's already raising two children, why did she become pregnant again?  Where's the responsibility for her actions?  No, of course, Poland has to take responsibility for its actions, but everyone else is blameless.  We have to have the no-fault abortion like the no-fault divorce.  Unfortunately, since this has become an international news story, that child is going to find out about it and is going to question the love of its mother for the rest of its life.  How can we place that burden on our children?

  • Guest

    I just re-read the article and first comment. Now the scales have fallen from my own eyes. Thanks for clarifying. Still, those making hay from this are the pro-aborts using an emotional appeal.