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WARSAW, Poland (ChurchMilitant.com) - The national court of Poland is siding with the unborn in a new ruling, prompting strong reactions from both pro-life and pro-abortion quarters.
On Thursday — the feast day of Pope St. John Paul II — the country's constitutional court issued a decision that eugenic abortion is unconstitutional. The court made its decision on the basis of the fact that the Polish constitution gives precedence to protection of life. The Catholic Church and pro-life organizations have been campaigning for some time to end eugenic abortions that affect, among others, potential births of children with Down syndrome.
"The provision allowing abortion to be allowed in the case of a high probability of severe and irreversible impairment of the fetus or an incurable, life-threatening disease is inconsistent with the constitution," ruled the Constitutional Tribunal.
"I am very pleased with this decision, it actually restores the constitutional order, which is guaranteed in [Article] 38 legal protection of life for every human being," Paweł Ozdoba, director of the Center for Life and Family, asserted. "It has been known for a long time that the so-called eugenic premise is in fact inconsistent with Polish law, which was finally confirmed by the Constitutional Tribunal with its judgment."
"The Republic of Poland shall ensure the legal protection of the life of every human being," reads Article 38 of the Polish Constitution.
"People in Poland will no longer be segregated into worse and better ones only because of their health condition," Ozdoba added in the interview with PCh24.
The fate of the unborn with disabilities has been shrouded for some time. A request by a group of deputies regarding the admissibility of abortion of an unborn baby with an abnormality was submitted to the Constitutional Tribunal for the first time three years ago, but was discontinued due to the end of the parliamentary term. It was again resubmitted in 2019 by a group including members of Parliament (MPs) from the Law and Justice Party (PiS) and the Confederation Party.
"It is a pity we had to wait so many years for justice!" tweeted Krzysztof Bosak, a member of Parliament and former presidential candidate for the Confederation Party in the 2020 election. "The only possible judgment consistent with the Constitution was passed."
Both supporters and opponents of tighter abortion regulations gathered in front of the Constitutional Tribunal as the ruling was being made and weighed in on it.
"I am glad that eugenic abortion has been banned — as a father, as a man, as a Catholic. And you can insult me as much as you like. Nothing will change that. I am not in the habit of following the opinions of others in what I think. Thanks be to God for this decision!" exclaimed Tomasz Terlikowski, a columnist for the magazine Do Rzeczy.
"I believed and believe that every child has the right to life," said President Andrzej Duda confirming his commitment to the ruling. Duda emphasized that he had never concealed the fact that he believed that abortion for eugenic reasons should not be allowed in Poland.
Representatives of the Left and the Polish Women's Strike (PWS) were less pleased and called for breaking the law while building an "abortion underground."
"Removing the basis for almost all legal abortions in Poland amounts to a ban and violates human rights," Commissioner for Human Rights in Europe Dunja Mijatovic wrote on Twitter .
Radical PWS member Marta Lempart, not content to handle matters legitimately, called on "courageous doctors" to "apply the applicable [previous] law" and not statements by the court. Doing so will represent a "decency test" for Polish physicians, in her opinion.
Then Lempart took a sarcastic dig at Catholics who applaud the ruling. "Some abortions currently legal should take place underground or abroad, so as not to stain the eyes of decent Catholic Catholics," she said.
With defiance the feminist added, "[A]bortions have been, are and will be," and the prohibition of abortion "does not mean that there is no abortion."
To her pro-abortion allies, she rallied: "Let's support each other in abortions — take advantage of the Abortion Without Borders initiative!"
In general, opponents of banning eugenic abortions have argued that such a ban will result in more illegal abortions being carried out. They also point to the lack of adequate financial and other types of support for parents who have disabled children.
A Church Militant source in Poland, who wishes to remain anonymous, exclaimed upon hearing the news: "How do you like it? On the feast day of St. John Paul II the Constitutional Tribunal decided eugenic abortion is unconstitutional! Isn't it great news? There are no coincidences."
"I expect they [leftist activists] will attack Poland even more now," the source predicted.
The Pole's prediction is corroborated by Ozdoba.
"Left-wing circles will try to undermine the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in all possible ways, involving international bodies such as the European Union or the tribunal in Strasbourg," the director asserted. "For my part, I can assure you that the fight will continue and emphasize that we will make every effort to ensure that Poland has full protection of the conceived life."