The ECLJ publishes a Report on the Polish Citizens’ legislative initiative towards a comprehensive protection of human life
Strasbourg – Octobre 4th 2016.
The citizens’ legislative initiative for the total abolition of abortion, delivered to the Polish Parliament on 5th July 2016, aims to ensure for all children, before as well as after birth, equal rights and protection of life and health. Founded on a solid argumentation deriving from the Polish Constitution and the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal, the draft law proposes to give a legal definition to the conceived child and to the moment of conception. This proposition means the empowerment of the unborn child, who can be considered as a patient in light of the Act on Patients’ Rights. According to the principle of proportionality, the removal of the three current circumstances allowing abortion is proposed. Medical treatment necessary to save the mother’s life, even if they may result in fatal consequences for the child, is simultaneously guaranteed. The reconstruction of the sanction norm for illegal abortion is also suggested, providing the possibility of extraordinary mitigation or withdrawal for the unborn child’s mother.
The draft law is focused not only on the abortion ban but also on the positive obligation of public authorities towards families, notably mothers, involved in crisis pregnancies. Practical regulations of State’s assistance are proposed. Thus, the development of perinatal care, pediatric care at home, material and psychological assistance or procedures enabling adoption is opposed to the current abortion offer. This positive attitude in favor of human life matches with the numerous concrete initiatives aiming to support families in difficult circumstances. Furthermore, the government’s National Procreation Programme setting up a comprehensive reproduction health care, including methods of natural procreation such as NaProTechnology, is on the agenda.
The future of the draft law on abortion ban depends of the Polish Parliament. After the first lecture in the Sejm, the proposal has been sent on 23rd September 2016 to the Commission of Justice and Human Rights, where it will be further discussed. However, the final version of the proposal could be substantially different from the initial project.