November 30, 2021
To the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda
To the Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Elżbieta Witek
To the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland Tomasz Grodzki
To the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki
To the Head of the Law & Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński
Lithuanian non-governmental organizations are expressing their concern over the recent tragic event in Poland, where a young pregnant woman died in a hospital after not receiving the necessary medical care to save her life. 30-year-old Izabela was having pregnancy complications, and instead of performing a potentially life-saving abortion, the hospital doctors chose to wait for her fetus’s heart to stop beating first.
We firmly believe that Izabela lost her life because of the October 2020 Constitutional Tribunal ruling, which left the medical professionals afraid of being punished for performing an unlawful pregnancy termination.
The constricting abortion law has created and will continue to create situations endangering the lives of women. There will undoubtedly be more cases where medical professionals choose to save the fetus’s life instead of the mother’s. Therefore, this ruling will only continue to cause problems for the country, for the women, and their families.
We invite you to trust women. Whenever they are able to do so, women choose to keep and continue their pregnancies and do not take pregnancy termination lightly.
We invite you to trust doctors. Doctors have the necessary medical competencies and are always ready to take care of patients’ health and to save their lives in especially dangerous situations.
We invite you to reassess the abortion law and to take the important and necessary steps in changing it so that it wouldn’t pose a threat to women’s lives, would bring the freedom of decision to doctors, whose competencies in health care are widely acknowledged, and – most importantly – would redirect the freedom of choice back to women, who take care and protect your families and children and ensure the future of the country.
We are confident that your citizens and the international community are waiting for progressive changes regarding the abortion law in Poland, a country with a long tradition of democracy, which works in close collaboration with progressive EU countries.
Family Planning and Sexual Health Association
Association of HIV Affected Women and their Families
New Generation of Women’s Initiatives
Public Organization “Maturity”
Human Rights Monitoring Institute
Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights
Social Innovation Fund
European Innovation Centre
Centre for Equality Advancement
House of Diversity and Education
Women’s Activity Centre of Marijampolė District
Lithuanian Women’s Lobby