Polish hospital fined for refusing to commit an abortion

ultrasound, abortion, Polish

A hospital in Poland has been fined for refusing to commit an abortion. Health minister Izabela Leszczyna announced that Pabianice Medical Centre has been fined 550,000 zloty ($136,000) for not carrying out the abortion and noted that audit investigations into two other medical facilities are ongoing.

According to the Associated Press and Notes From Poland, doctors in Poland are allowed to commit abortions only if a pregnancy threatens a mother’s health or is the result of rape; under the law, doctors are permitted to refuse an abortion on the grounds of conscience. Induced abortion (the direct and intentional killing of a preborn child) is never necessary to save a woman’s life. When a pregnancy needs to end, a preterm delivery can be carried out.  

The National Health Fund (NFZ) finances public hospitals in Poland, and according to a regulation issued by the health ministry in May, all hospitals receiving funding from the NFZ for providing obstetrics and gynecology are required to commit abortions.

Pabianice Medical Centre management denies the claim that the hospital failed to offer legal abortions and plans to appeal the fine and take legal action against the NFZ, if necessary.

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Pabianice Medical Centre Director Adam Marczak refuted the health ministry’s claims in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.

“We perform abortions in our hospital. The complaint concerns one patient. The doctor refused her an abortion because she did not present a set of documents confirming the prerequisites for a legal procedure,” Marczak said.

The hospital released a statement confirming that doctors did not deny the patient an abortion but required the patient to submit the final diagnostic results before the doctors could carry out the abortion.

Furthermore, the hospital spokeswoman told the Polish Press Agency, “None of the doctors of the gynecological and obstetrics department of the hospital used at that time or currently apply the so-called conscience clause.”

The Pabianice Medical Centre is the first Polish hospital to be fined for refusing an abortion under the new government requirement that publicly funded hospitals perform legal abortions.

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