Poland's fairly close abortion ban boosts birthrate

Poland's Strict Abortion Ban Raises Concerns of a Controversial Pregnancy Registry

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Poland, that has a near-total abortion prohibition, is accused of building a "pregnancy registry" as it saves more patient clinical records online.


Women's rights groups and opposition lawmakers fear excessive monitoring given the governing party's conservative beliefs, which have already strengthened Europe's most restrictive abortion legislation.

They believe the new data might be used against women when pregnancies terminate, even in miscarriages, or that women could be followed by the state if they purchase abortion medicines or fly overseas for an abortion.

Left-wing politician Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bk called a pregnancy register in Poland "terrifying."


Health Minister Adam Niedzielski signed an ordinance Friday extending the number of patient information maintained in a single database, including allergies, blood type, and pregnancy.

Wojciech Andrusiewicz, a health ministry spokesperson, said only medical experts would have access to the data and that the EU recommended the move.

The endeavour is aimed to enhance patient care, especially if they seek care abroad in the EU. This will let physicians determine which pregnant women shouldn't undergo X-rays or specific drugs, he added.


"No pregnancy registry is being created in Poland," he said TVN24.

Women's Strike leader Marta Lempart doesn't trust the government to hide pregnancies from state prosecutors. She told AP that angry couples have tipped off Polish authorities on how pregnancies terminate.

Police and prosecutors may interview pregnant women at any moment, Lempart added.


Wealthier Polish women will seek private therapy or fly overseas for prenatal care under the new system.

Lempart thinks that impoverished Polish women who skip prenatal treatment would suffer medical complications or death.

Lempart fears police may share information with state media to destroy people's reputations.


She's seen it happen. Lempart tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020, and state TV announced it before she obtained findings.

Poland, a primarily Catholic nation, forbids abortion in virtually all instances, with exceptions for a woman's life or health, rape, or incest.

Congenital foetuses were aborted for years. The 2020 constitution struck away this exemption.

Polish women wanting abortions purchase abortion pills or go to Germany, the Czech Republic, and other nations. Helping someone else take abortion medication is illegal.

Justyna Wydrzyska faces three years in jail for assisting a domestic abuse victim acquire abortion medicines. Amnesty International believes it's Europe's first case.

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