Lifestyle & Belief

Polish teen should have had access to abortion after rape, court rules


A mother with a child ispasses a poster with inscription 'Right to be born for every child' in Warsaw March 15, 2007. In 2007, Poland's Roman Catholic bishops backed efforts by a far-right governing party to get the country's tough abortion law anchored in the constitution.


Janek Skarzynski

The 14-year old girl who was hindered from getting an abortion after she was raped will be compensated by Poland, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday. 

The court condemned Poland for violating article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits "inhuman or degrading treatment," Reuters reported

"The court was particularly struck that the authorities started criminal proceedings for illicit sexual relations against the adolescent who, according to the prosecutor and medical reports, should have been considered the victim of sexual abuse," the judges said in their verdict. 

Poland's abortion law is one of the strictest in Europe, allowing abortion only if the mother or child's lives are in danger or in the case of rape or incest, BBC News reported.

The girl, referred to only as "P," was required to obtain a certificate from a public prosecutor proving that she was the victim of unlawful sexual intercourse in order to get an abortion in May 2008, after she was raped. 

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She was denied the procedure at two hospitals, one where a Roman Catholic priest tried to make her keep the child and another where doctors were pressured not to perform the abortion, according to BBC. 

The court has ordered Poland to pay $38,000 to the teenager, and an additional $19,000 euro to her mother, in addition to covering their legal costs, Polskie Radio reported

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Tagged: EuropePoland.