Poland’s highest court has ruled that abortions of children with disabilities is unconstitutional.
The decision by the country’s Constitutional Court affects the majority abortions.
Terminations will only be permissible in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk once the new ruling goes fully into effect.
The historic pro-life ruling is in response to a motion filed last year brought by a diverse group of lawmakers from Poland’s Law and Justice Party, Independence Party, Confederation Liberty and Independence Party and Polish Coalition Party.
In their application, the 119 parliamentarians argued that allowing terminations on the basis of disability, such as cleft lip, club foot or Down’s syndrome, would be in violation of the Polish Constitution which protects the dignity and right to life of every human person.
11 of Poland’s 13 Constitutional Court judges agreed. In its decision, the court said there can be no protection of the dignity of an individual without the protection of life.
According to Polsat News, when the decision was announced, pro-life campaigners celebrated outside the court shouting “Thank you” and “Poland is on the side of life”.
Polling has revealed there is strong support for pro-life measures in the country.
A CBOS survey found that 75% of Polish people think abortion is “always wrong and can never be justified”. Meanwhile, only 7% thought there was “nothing wrong with it and could always be justified”.
Additionally, earlier this year a ‘Citizens’ initiative against eugenic abortion’ supporting a ban on disability-selective abortion gathered 830,000 signatures from Polish residents, indicating further strong support for the change in law.