Thursday, 27 September 2007

EU Court Rules Poland Must Pay For Not Aborting Child

Poland, a country where the Catholic Church plays a major role in social policies, has been forced to pay a woman who could not receive an abortion and suffered and "eye hemorrhage." From the KaiserNetwork:

The European Court of Human Rights on Monday upheld a ruling that ordered the Polish government to award damages to a Polish woman who says that in 2000 she was denied an abortion despite warnings from physicians that she could become blind if she continued the pregnancy, the Irish Times reports (Irish Times, 9/25).

Alicja Tysiac alleges that Poland's abortion law violated her rights under Article 8 and Article 14 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which guarantee "respect for privacy and family life" and "prohibition of discrimination," respectively. Polish law allows abortion only if a woman has been raped, if there is danger to the life of the woman or if the fetus will have birth defects. Three ophthalmologists in February 2000 told Tysiac she would go blind if she were to give birth to a third child. None of the doctors would refer her for an abortion procedure.

In April 2000, Tysiac had an appointment at a public hospital in Warsaw, Poland, where a gynecologist said there was no medical reason to have the procedure. Tysiac gave birth via caesarean section in November 2000. After her c-section, Tysiac experienced a retinal hemorrhage. Since then, "a panel of doctors concluded that her condition required treatment and daily assistance and declared her to be significantly disabled," court documents said.

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