EUGENIC ABORTION INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE CONSTITUTION

ARTUR STELMASIAK

The general procurator Zbigniew Ziobro informed the Constitutional Tribunal about his attitude towards eugenic abortion. The document explicitly states that killing children in the case of suspected disability is incompatible with the constitution

The attitude of the General Procurator appeared in relation to the request of MEPs for stating incompatibility of provisions of the abortion act of 7 January 1993 with constitution. – This is a very good and thorough opinion, which reliably presents a thread of a doctrine and statement about protection of human life. The document explicitly stands up for the constitutional value of human life and prohibition of discrimination - an attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the president of the Institute for Legal Culture ‘Ordo Iuris’ tells ‘Niedziela’. – The opinion of the General Procurator is an excellent interpretation of the unified case law of the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland – he adds.

Human from the conception

‘There are no criteria that at the moment of birth delivery there is a change in life development which proves the appearance of humankind. Medicine proves that birth delivery has lost its significance. It is the change of human environment, not the beginning of human life’ – we read in the opinion sent to the tribunal. The General Procurator emphasized that according to constitution, the basic duty of the state is providing everybody with legal protection of life. The notion ‘human being’ which was used among the others in the art. 30 and art. 38 of the constitution, also comprises the human being in the prenatal phase of its development. So, protection which was included in the basic act also concerns this early period of life.

The very fact of serious disability of a conceived child or his/her incurable illness, not saying a probability of this fact, cannot be considered as a constitutionally justified reason for permitted abortion. The constitution definitely prohibits differentiating human dignity or valuing human life. – The opinion of the General Procurator is a reminder and a complex complement of the request submitted in the Constitutional Tribunal – the attorney Kwaśniewski emphasizes.

We are waiting for tribunal

In March 2018 the Speaker of the Seym submitted his opinion. The attitude of the Seym lawyers also leaves no doubts that eugenic abortion is incompatible with the constitution. Now the tribunal has already got a whole set of documents under the request which was submitted to judges of the Constitutional Tribunal at the end of October 2017. The request for examining the compatibility of the so-called eugenic abortion with the constitution was signed by 107 MEPs, mainly from the Law and Justice party and Kukiz’15.

- I am glad that the attitude of the General Procurator, which is compatible with our request and explicitly points out that the current abortion law is unconstitutional. I hope that judges will decide about the date of a case law – an MP of the Law and Justice party Bartłomiej Wróblewski tells ‘Niedziela’, who is an initiator of the complaint to the Constitutional Tribunal against eugenic abortion. – I will only remind that I 1997 the tribunal gave a verdict in half a year and now we have been waiting for over 7 months.

In justification of the request to the Constitutional Tribunal MEPs refer to, among the others, the case law from 1997 when the president of this organ was prof. Andrzej Zoll. Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal stated then that the provision which allowed for abortion from the so-called social premise – when a woman is in difficult life conditions or a difficult personal situation – is incompatible with the constitution. At that time the tribunal was examining only one provision, but the case law proves that also the premise allowing for abortion because of a child’s illness is unconstitutional. Now it is confirmed also by the General Procurator.

- Everybody sees that it is impossible to match eugenic abortion with our constitution. This opinion is a step forward but law in Poland has not changed yet. And I will remind that every day in Polish hospitals three children are killed – says Kaja Godek, a proxy of the legislative initiative ‘Stop abortion’. – Only a change of law is what saves human life. During awaiting for the Constitutional Tribunal we should concentrate on the civic initiative which has been kept in the Seym commission for nearly 5 months. I am afraid that awaiting for the verdict is only an excuse and a delaying game, while Poles are waiting for an actual change of law.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 23/2018 (10 VI 2018)

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