On Thursday, a constitutional court in Poland ruled that abortion is prohibited even if it has been proven that the fetus is seriously injured. In practice, this means a total ban on abortion in the country that has one of Europe’s strictest abortion laws.
Since 1993, abortion has been banned in the country with the exception of pregnancies that come from rape, incest or if the pregnancy poses a health hazard to the mother. Until now, there has also been an exception in cases where the fetus has serious injuries, but now there is a stop for these abortions as well.
Following the court ruling, thousands of Poles took to the streets to protest. Former cross-country skiing star Justyna Kowalczyk also expressed her displeasure in a TV interview with Sport.pl.
– How can a woman be sentenced to give birth to a child who will die right after the birth? How can a family be sentenced to keep a being alive when doctors do not give hope that it will become anything other than a vegetable? says Kowalczyk in the interview.
In 2014, the Polish cross-country queen admitted that she had struggled with depression. The reason for this was that the year before she lost a child after a miscarriage. Therefore, the ongoing abortion fight means extra to Kowalczyk.
– Our country practically leaves the parents to themselves in such a situation. How can they get time and money for medicines and care around the clock? Where will they get the strength for this? asks Kowalczyk, and continues:
– We are only fighting for the right to choose, she says in the interview with sport.pl.
The interview has subsequently created many reactions in Poland, and now Kowalczyk has gone against the incitement she has received on social media.
One comment in particular made the cup overflow for the Polish cross-country queen. It said, among other things:
‘I’m ashamed of you, you egoist. Do you think that when you remove a living divine being, then everyone must do so? ”
This caused the double Olympic champion to react.
– Enough of these lies and backbiting. If I do not receive an official apology, I will tomorrow report this disgusting fraudulent person to the prosecution, Kowalczyk wrote in a Facebook post that has been reproduced in Polish media.
Although Poland has had exceptions that have opened up for certain abortions, all health professionals have had the opportunity to refuse to perform an abortion if it is contrary to their own beliefs. In the strictly Catholic country, it is therefore very common for doctors not to carry out the procedure.
Kowalczyk thinks it is strange that the strict law comes as the majority of Poles are Catholics and should not need stricter rules to live up to their own convictions.
– In a country where 90 percent of the population is Catholic, we do not need to introduce such a ban. Today’s science means that the fetus can be examined much earlier in a pregnancy. Why not apply the knowledge used by the whole civilized world? It is terrible that we go back in time, Kowalczyk raged in the interview with sport.pl.
The four-time Tour de Ski winner resigned after the Sochi Olympics in 2018. After putting her cross-country skis on the shelf, the 37-year-old has had a role in the Polish cross-country national team’s support apparatus.