A Warsaw court on Tuesday convicted a women’s rights activist of helping a victim of domestic violence access abortion pills in Poland and sentenced her to eight months of community service.
Justyna Wydrzyńska’s case has been closely followed by human rights activists, who believe it will set a precedent in a country with one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.
A leading reproductive rights organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said it was “shocked” that Wydrzyńska now has a criminal record for helping a woman who was in an abusive relationship.
“We are deeply saddened by the decision and outraged by the entire process. Condemning a person for an act of empathy and compassion towards another human being is inconceivable,” spokeswoman Irene Donadio said.
Prosecutors had accused Wydrzyńska of “contributing to the abortion”, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
POLISH PRESIDENT SAYS ‘NO EVIDENCE’ MISSILE LANDED ON NATO TERRITORY WAS LAUNCHED FROM RUSSIA
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Wydrzyńska will appeal the case, Polish media reported. She is the co-founder of the Abortion Dream Team, an organization that provides information to women seeking an abortion.
Poland, a predominantly Catholic country, bans abortion in almost all cases, with exceptions only when a woman’s life or health is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
For years, abortion was permitted in the case of fetuses with congenital defects. However, that exception was overturned by the country’s constitutional court in 2020.
In practice, Polish women seeking abortion order abortion pills or travel to Germany, the Czech Republic and other countries where the procedure is permitted. While self-administering abortion pills is legal, helping someone else is not.