Denying a Rape Victim Abortion Care Violates Her Human Rights, Rules European Court

In what the Center for Reproductive Rights is calling a “landmark” case, a European Court has ruled that a Polish rape victim who faced obstructionism and misinformation as she tried to obtain a legal abortion had her human rights violated by the state.

According to a press release from the Center, Polands abortion laws are much more restrictive than in the rest of Europe thanks to strong Catholic Church influences there, but victims of rape are legally allowed to terminate their pregnancies. Well, in theory. Here’s what actually happened when a teenager who was raped tried to have an abortion,

In April 2008, P, then 14 years old, became pregnant after being raped by a classmate Supported by her mother, S, she attempted to obtain a legal abortion, but encountered multiple obstacles. They were provided with misinformation and their personal information was leaked to the media. They were manipulated and harassed by doctors, anti-abortion groups and representatives of the Catholic Church. Hospital staff and the police manipulated the relationship between P and her mother-a process which resulted in the removal of P from S's custody and her detention in a juvenile center. When P finally received a legal abortion following an intervention from the Ministry of Health, it happened in a clandestine manner, without being registered as a patient and without receiving post-abortion care.


Well, the European Court of Human Rights found that the treatment of P was rife with fuckery. In a “strongly worded” rebuke against the Polish government, they pointed out that both P and her mother’s right to privacy were violated on multiple occasions during the ordeal, and her right to liberty when she was imprisoned. The state also violated P’s dignity, according to the ruling, treating her cruelly and inhumanely.

P isn’t the only Polish woman who has had the state get between her and, uh, her body. Between 80,000 and 200,000 women in the European country are forced to undergo clandestine, unsafe abortions every year, thanks to the state’s refusal to defend abortion rights and health care providers’ routine refusal to perform abortion services or provide referrals to providers who do perform abortion services.

Let this marinate for a second: Paul Ryan, Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock’s views, if put in action, would be reprimanded by the European Court of Human Rights. And these are guys who could actually get elected to office.

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