The move comes amid ongoing disputes between Poland and the European Union over human rights and the independence of Poland’s judiciary. Abortion restrictions in Poland lie squarely at the intersection of those issues.
An October 2020 decision from Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal made abortion illegal except in cases of incest, rape or when the mother’s life is in danger. Specifically, it ruled that abortion due to fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional — effectively outlawing about 98 percent of the abortions that had been taking place in Poland. Proponents of the restriction argued that it was, in part, a way of preventing the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome.