Human Rights Council
51st session of the Human Rights Council
Item 4 General Debate
26 September 2022
Statement by the Federation for Women and Family Planning
Thank you, President.
I make this statement on behalf of the Federation for Women and Family Planning from Poland.
Refugees coming from Ukraine and through the Belarus border who are survivors of sexual assault face severe obstacles in access to abortion care in Poland. The law requires a certificate from Polish prosecuting authorities attesting to the crime which is almost impossible to obtain due to unclear procedures and accompanying stigma around reporting. In 2021 there were zero abortions recorded in the official statistics of the Ministry of Health when pregnancy resulted from rape. The survivor-centred procedures recommended to be followed by medical providers and police who are assisting survivors are not binding or properly disseminated. Even emergency contraception requires a doctor’s prescription.
We call on States to hold Poland accountable for the violations of the rights of survivors of sexual assault, including for lack of access to all sexual and reproductive health services.
We repeatedly call to remove all barriers in access to legal abortion and contraception for all women in Poland.
I thank you.