SRHR AND FEDERA OVERVIEW – AUGUST-OCTOBER 2023

Important national developments

On 15 October 2023, parliamentary elections were held in Poland. As a result, a coalition of opposition parties is likely to take power in Poland. The new democratic majority most likely raises hopes for improvements in fields of reproductive rights, minority rights and the rule of law in Poland. The new political climate allows Civil Society Organisations new opportunities for advocacy work.

FEDERA News and projects

National advocacy

Senate bill on in vitro reimbursement

FEDERA prepared its position during the parliamentary work on the bill introducing the reimbursement from the state budget of the assisted in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure. In its position, the Foundation emphasised that infertility, classified by the World Health Organisation as a civilisation disease, affects around 1.5 million couples in Poland, i.e. around 20% of the population of reproductive age. The reimbursement of the procedure will be an important step towards increasing the availability of planned parenthood services.

Letters to hospitals

In its latest advocacy campaign, FEDERA sent a letter to all hospitals with gynaecology, gynaecology-obstetrics or pregnancy pathology departments with a contract with the National Health Fund, in which the current legal situation regarding the possibility of terminating a pregnancy was described and explained in detail. The letter also included, among other things, a FEDERA’s proposal to conduct trainings for medical personnel.

International Contraception Day

On the occasion of International Contraception Day, FEDERA prepared a report on access to contraception in Poland, together with the Foundation’s recommendations for improving the situation. The report was sent to leading national media and subsequently published.

International Safe Abortion Day

On International Safe Abortion Day, FEDERA commissioned a survey on abortion in Poland. According to the results, 65% of those surveyed believe that a woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy on request up to the 12th week of gestation, of which among the youngest group of respondents, support for this demand is over 80%. Nearly 90% of respondents have a negative view of the so-called 2020 Constitutional Tribunal judgment and 73% believe that abortion should be allowed when fetal impairments are detected in the pregnancy.

Three years after the decision of the Constitutional Court

22 October marked three years since the politicised Constitutional Tribunal removed the embryo pathological premise triggering the largest Women’s Protests in recent Polish history. On the anniversary of the so-called K 1/20 verdict, Federa issued a summary of its three years of activity in numbers. Federa carried out about 20,000 consultations for women on the possibility to terminate pregnancy outside the health care system and enforced about 2,600 abortions in Polish hospitals – a number several times higher than the official government statistics.

International advocacy

FEDERA, together with international partner organisations, including the Centre for Reproductive Rights and the Interantional Planned Parenthood Federation, developed a joint position on abortion, which was presented at the 54th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In the European Parliament, a plenary debate was held on the situation of Ukrainian refugee women, including access to and rights to sexual and reproductive health. The debate addressed the serious barriers faced by Ukrainian refugee women in some Member States when they need sexual and reproductive health care. The debate is an aftermath of the findings of the Care in Crisis report, which FEDERA co-authored.

FEDERA and the elections

FEDERA, together with partner organisations affiliated to the Great Coalition for Equality and Choice, a network of more than 130 organisations coordinated by FEDERA, ran an extensive pro-vote campaign targeting young women, which aimed to mobilise young voters to cast their ballot, emphasising issues related to access to sexual and reproductive health services.