Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Poland’s government to appeal against Human Rights abuse verdict

Poland’s government decided to appeal against European Tribunal’s verdict in Alicja Tysiąc case, which ruled that Poland violated Human Rights and Basic Freedoms Convention by refusing the woman the right to abortion, deputy PM Roman Giertych informed.

This case is not only about 25 thousand Euro compensation. According to independent experts, the verdict’s coming into force would practically mean a necessity to amend the Anti-abortion Act. And the ruling Law and Justice (PiS), after recent problems with constitution changes is reluctant to come back to this touchy subject, news portal tvn24.pl reports.

The whole case concerns the right to abortion. The mother of two, who had developed a serious vision defect after her 2nd pregnancy, was warned by eye doctors that her sight might further deteriorate should she choose to go on with her 3rd pregnancy.

She decided not to but was denied the right to abortion, which in the light of Polish law was admissible. After delivering her third child she became disabled by C-section in November 2000. Tysiąc was granted the 1st degree of physical impairment but decided to sue the country anyway.

In March the European Tribunal in Strasbourg ruled that if a country admits a possibility of abortion in specified situations, it should not hinder in using this possibility. It should also establish an independent institution to which a woman could appeal against the refusal to conduct an abortion.

“Such an organ can be created only by means of passing an act of law, former vice-president of one of the chambers in the European Commission of Human Rights Marek Nowicki says. “If we do not appeal, we will have to change the anti-abortion law”.

“This is a very difficult situation, because if the government does not appeal against the verdict, we will have to think how to establish a system of appeal,” Vice-minister of Health Bolesław Piecha explains.

The whole process of appeal can take as much as two years, tvn24.pl informs. (jm)