PREGNANT WOMAN DIES IN POLAND IGNITING PROTESTS, HEALTH MINISTER BACKS ABORTION

An unfortunate death of a pregnant woman has reignited the conversation about abortions in Poland, as protests arise on Sunday. One of Europe’s most devout catholic countries, Poland has been in the front row for banning abortions, with an act that criminalized termination of pregnancies that came in January this year. Izabela, who was 30 years old, was in her 22nd week of pregnancy when she died. The family claims she died of septic shock after her doctors waited for her unborn child’s heart to stop beating. Izabela might be the first woman to die as a result of the anti-abortion ruling in the country. The government however has denied all assertions, saying the woman died due to the negligence of the doctors. The lawyers and her family say the fetus couldn’t survive due to a lack of amniotic fluid in the uterus. The doctors have been temporarily suspended and the investigation has begun.

 

Following the incident, protests have been initiated by woman’s rights groups and civilians in Warsaw and other Polish cities to demand an end to the country’s anti abortion law. The restrictive reproductive law can punish the mother and the doctor to upto eight years in prison, and has led to doctors waiting for the death of the fetus that has complications rather than abortion with the mother’s consent. With banners that said “NOT ONE MORE”, the protests also had participation from Poland’s opposition head Donald Tusk. The rally in Warsaw marched to the Health Ministry and lit up the streets using their mobile phone flashes to remember Izabella. 

 

Adam Niedzielski, the Health Minister said the case needed ‘close’ analysis and said instructions will be given highlighting that a ‘woman’s safety is a reason to terminate pregnancy’. The Health Ministry issued the instructions to doctors confirming that it is legal to terminate the pregnancy if the woman’s safety is at risk. Activists say this confusion is leading to the deaths of women and the law that restricts abortion has to be repealed immediately. 

 

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