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Conviction of a pro-choice activist in Poland

On 14 March, Justyna Wydrzyńska was sentenced by a Polish court for providing an abortion drug to a pregnant woman in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her sentence is 30 hours of community service per month for 8 months. After the sentence was handed down, she said: “We will appeal. I will continue to help with abortions. Nothing changes.”

Justyna is a member of the Abortion Dream Team, which helps women access abortion, even though abortion is, in practice, completely banned in Poland. The prosecution and the severity of the sentence are part of a pattern of judicial harassment of pro-choice activists by the Polish authorities and fundamentalist Catholic organisations.

The European Secularist Network strongly condemns these prosecutions. Access to safe and legal abortion is a woman’s right and part of international standards. The fundamental rights of women must be guaranteed throughout the European Union.