Right to Abortion of a 14-Year-Old Rape Victim

Source of news: CEE Bulletin on Sexual and Reproductive Rights No 7 (63) 2008
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2008-07-14 14:30:06 / News read 2412 reading

The case of a girl named Agata who is legally entitled to undergo a termination of pregnancy which results from a criminal offence started a heated debate in Poland. Agata was raped by her school mate, got pregnant and was seeking abortion in her hometown – Lublin. The hospital refused to perform the service and thus Agata’s mother contacted the Federation for Women and Family Planning to assist her in finding a facility where termination could be performed legally and safely.

At first, Agata was admitted to a hospital in Warsaw and everything seemed to be on the right track. Apparently, a priest and activists of anti-choice movement followed her every step, making it impossible for the girl to obtain the service. They have made the accusation that Agata was coerced by her mother to have an abortion and the prosecution took up the case. The girl has been constantly bothered by priests, women and pseudo-psychologists from anti-abortion organizations.

- I don’t know how the priest found out about a private procedure taking place in Warsaw – Wanda Nowica, president of the Federation, wonders.- Obviously, confidentiality of medical records and the patient’s right to privacy have been violated.

What follows next is even more alarming. Since Agata’s mother has been accused of forcing a minor to undergo an abortion – which is a punishable offence in the letter of Polish law – the girl was taken by police to an emergency childcare center. Agata had to submit written consent for the procedure at the hospital office for the second time. She kept on confirming that she is sure of her decision and that it is fully voluntary. Finally, on 16th June late night the Minister of Health announced on TV that one of the state clinics was identified where the abortion would be performed. The name and the location of the clinic was to remain secret for the sake of Agata and her family. The next day in the early afternoon the abortion was at last carried out. However, the prosecutor is still investigating whethe anyone pressured the girl to abort.

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza Daily

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