Death of pregnant woman sparks new protests over abortion law

Protests were held across the country on All Saints’ Day Monday following the death of a 30-year-old woman who died in a hospital in Pszczyna while 22 weeks pregnant. [Shutterstock / KieferPix]

Protests were held across the country on All Saints’ Day Monday following the death of a 30-year-old woman who died in a hospital in Pszczyna while 22 weeks pregnant. Doctors were told to hold off on removing the foetus until the baby’s heart stopped beating, but the woman died of septic shock.

The Pszczyna County Hospital published its position on the case on Tuesday.

It reads that “the entire medical procedure is subject to prosecutor’s evaluation and no sentence can be passed at this time”. The hospital added that “all medical decisions have been made in accordance with the applicable Polish laws and standards of practice”.

“Not one more”, “her heart was still beating too” could be read on the banners of the protesters on Monday. Protesters also lit candles in front of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal.

In October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal issued a judgment banning abortion in Poland. The ruling declared that termination of pregnancy due to irreversible and fatal foetal defects is unconstitutional.

Abortion is currently legal in Poland in two cases: when the pregnancy is a threat to the life or health of the woman or when the pregnancy is the result of an illegal act. Despite mass protests, the judgment came into force after its publication in January 2021.

(Martyna Kompała | EURACTIV.pl)

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