International

Abortions in Poland plummet 90% following protections for preborn children with disabilities

Poland

Early last year, Poland instituted a ban on eugenic abortions, protecting preborn children with disabilities from being killed solely because of their diagnosis. The law garnered international outrage; abortion advocates were furious that one of the few reasons women were allowed to have abortions had been taken away. Yet since the law was put into place, abortions in Poland have dropped by an incredible 90%.

The Catholic News Agency reported that, since the law was passed in 2021, the number of legal abortions fell from 1,076 in 2020 to just 107 in 2021.

Lawyer and psychologist Magdalena Korzekwa-Kaliszuk, head of the pro-life Proelio Group Foundation, told the Catholic News Agency this means that nearly 1,000 preborn children, who would have been killed simply for a disability, instead are able to live. “This means that the law is working and has allowed specific people to be saved,” she said.

Korzekwa-Kaliszuk, the head of the Proelio Group Foundation, added that the law is saving lives, even if illegal abortions continue to take place.

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“A good law has a positive impact on people’s attitudes. On the one hand, it reinforces the conviction that the right to life should not depend on the diagnosis of a medical condition,” she said. “On the other hand, not being able to kill a child on eugenic grounds means that doctors will no longer have a basis for proposing or even pressuring parents to have an abortion.”

Before the law was put into place, approximately 98% of abortions in Poland were committed due to a prenatal disability diagnosis. 1,074 of the 1,100 abortions committed in 2020 were specifically due to a disability or health condition.

Polish President Andrzej Duda is pro-life and participated in Poland’s March for Life in 2020, and had strongly condemned the notion of eugenic abortions. “I believe that killing children with disabilities is frankly murder,” he said in April of 2020. “If the plan finds itself on my desk, I will in all certainty sign it.”

Duda never got the opportunity to sign the bill, as it was decided instead by a 13-member court. Only two judges dissented.

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