Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review- Poland
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.
We welcome the robust recommendations addressed to Poland on sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s rights, and we regret that these did not explicitly include comprehensive sexuality education and access to contraception.
Access to safe abortion services, and the decriminalisation of abortion is imperative for the protection of life and health of all women in Poland, including adolescents, Ukrainian and other refugees, migrants, and persons in vulnerable situations. The current strict legislation that essentially bans abortion has led to deaths of women in Poland, and has put organisations who assist in providing information or access to services at risk of criminal charges. Statutory barriers and stigma around abortion place women’s and pregnant persons’ lives and health at risk, and undermine their rights to bodily autonomy, integrity, to education, their right to self-determination, and to be free of torture.
The government of Poland needs to take urgent action to:
- reform the law to decriminalize abortion and legalize abortion on request, at least up until 12 weeks of pregnancy;
- review the delivery of sexuality education in schools, which should be obligatory and comprehensive;
- guarantee access to modern and state subsidized contraception and unlimited access to emergency contraception without a need to obtain the prescription.
We call on States and international community to hold Poland accountable for delivering on sexual and reproductive rights.
Thank you President.