Abortion and rape, Poland and the ECHR

The seemingly-random operation of Poland’s abortion laws has come before the ECtHR yet again. In P and S v Poland 57375/08 HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1853 (30 October 2012) the applicants were a daughter and mother resident in Lublin. In 2008, aged fourteen, P was raped and became pregnant. In order to have an abortion, as required by the Law on Family Planning 1993 she obtained a certificate from the public prosecutor that her pregnancy had resulted from unlawful sexual intercourse.

The applicants complained that from then on they encountered considerable difficulties in obtaining access to an abortion, partly because of contradictory and inaccurate information from two public hospitals in Lublin about what conditions, if any, had to be complied with and partly because of general obstructiveness and lack of cooperation. Continue reading