Women's Hell Goes On

News author: NEWW-Polska
spotk_galeria:  » spotk_gal_wys
spotk_data_umie: 2005-06-28 11:42:03
The meeting with Wanda Nowicka was dedicated to the new publication of Polish Federation for Woman and Family Planning Women's Hell Goes On-Contemporary Stories

Abstracts of the testimonies published in Women's Hell-Contemporary Stories:

ALICJA, 31-years old, 3 children (aged 8, 7, 1), a client of social welfare for years. She suffers from serious health problems with eyes: eyesight (- 24 diopters), damaged retina, haemorrhages into her retina. Her older children were born by caesarean section. She couldn’t enforce her right to legal abortion. Ophthalmologists refused to give opinion on her eyes status. Only one doctor dared to issue the required opinion that pregnancy can be dangerous for her sight, even for her life. The gynaecologist from public hospital to whom she was referred for abortion services neglected this opinion and destroyed the document by which he made impossible to use it in other public hospital. She could not afford illegal abortion and had a baby. After the delivery her eyesight is in danger. She cannot work, she cannot do anything what is connected with effort, she cannot take proper care for her youngest child and is dependent on others.

Maria is a young woman; HIV-infected; under permanent medical treatment. The pregnancy constituted the threat for her health because of advanced stage. Having the necessary referral to hospital for legal abortion, she started to look for a hospital where this intervention could have be done. She came to the Federation and asked for help. Federation sent letters to 12 obstetrics-gynaecologist hospitals. Half of them didn’t respond to this urgent request at all. The rest of them refused to perform abortion using different excuses such as: lack of necessary facilities. Only one of the hospitals responded positively and provided abortion services.

Barbara, 28-years old, 2 disabled children (4, 2-years old). Her first child was born with very rare disease: hypochondroplasia with strong contractures. It causes strong pains, disfigurement of joints, underdevelopment of limbs. 2 years later in spite of using contraception she became pregnant again. One doctor did not even know that abortion is legal on some conditions. He also refused give her referral to do prenatal tests. Medical manager of that hospital said that even if the tests showed any illness, nobody would perform abortion in this hospital: “Nobody wants to have any problem”. After long fight with the Polish healthcare bureaucracy she delivered disabled daughter with the same illness as her son has. Having two very sick children Barbara has no support from the state.

Bożena, She got pregnant at the age of 44. Although she wanted to have a baby, due to her age she had prenatal tests. That examination showed that fśtus has Down syndrome. She got referral to the hospital for legal abortion. Although she fulfilled necessary requirements, director of the hospital requested opinion of other doctors. One of them well-known for his anti-abortion position disagreed. Therefore, the director of hospital refused to perform abortion. She was discharged from the hospital. Her father who wanted to be informed about her health, after being at that hospital and being treated rudely, got infarct. Finally, she found help in another hospital.

Violeta, 28-years old, 1 child (4-years old). She was indicted for murder of her child and was sentenced to 10 years of prison. She was living with her partner for almost 2 years. During that time she was raped and beaten many times. Her partner didn’t let her even tell anyone that she was pregnant. She delivered her second child at home. Immediately after the delivery (20 minutes), her partner took the child away. She protested, but she was too weak to do anything. Probably, he killed child and dug him outside. Finally, the court indicted Violeta for the murder. Her partner got a sentence of 2 years in suspension. She is in prison. He is free.

Kasia, 20-years old, 1 child (1-year). When she got pregnant for a second time she decided to do an illegal abortion. She didn’t tell her parents about that. Only her husband knew. It was quite advanced pregnancy, but doctor decided to do it at private cabinet. It cost about 4,500 PLN ($ 1,000). During the intervention the complications happened. The doctor took her to the hospital 20 kilometres away instead of carrying her to the emergency ward 500 meters away. Unfortunately, it was too late. Kasia died.

Magda, 31-years old, 2 children (11, 10-years old). She had break in usage of hormonal pills and during that period she was using condoms. Unfortunately, that protection failed. When she got pregnant she felt unhappy and desperate. She was sure that she had to have abortion, because she didn’t want and was not able to become the mother for a third time. She decided for illegal intervention. Friends helped her to collect money for that. It was about 2,000 PLN ($ 500). She believes she had right to take this decision.