Human Rights Council

54th session of the Human Rights Council

September 2023

Item 3: General Debate

Thank you, President.

I make this statement on behalf of the Federation for Women and Family Planning from Poland.

With the upcoming parliamentary elections in Poland we reiterate the imperative of decriminalisation and legalisation of access to abortion in Poland to save lives and preserve the health of women, girls and pregnant persons.

The criminalisation of abortion is taking an increasing toll in my country. Women die because of lack of access to life saving abortion care, the entire hospitals rely illegally on the consciousness clause. The recent police intervention in the case of a woman who took an abortion pill and another who miscarried show how the restrictive legal and policy environment is facilitating the abuse of powers by authorities, and legitimising the refusals of care by medical providers.

The public health system in Poland should be urgently strengthened and reformed. Getting access to safe abortion should not be like winning a lottery ticket but a fully respected right for all.

The lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services and information violates human rights norms. We call on the international community to hold Poland accountable to international human rights standards.

FEDERA’s international advocacy coordinator reading the statement at the HRC54 session.