Poland: Emergency contraception restrictions catastrophic for women and girls

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda must not approve regressive legislation that will limit access to emergency contraception for women and girls, said Amnesty International after the Senate approved the bill today.

“Restricting access to the ‘morning after pill’ will have devastating consequences for women and girls living in a country which already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe,” said Anna Błuś, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Western Europe and Women’s Rights.

Restricting access to the ‘morning after pill’ will have devastating consequences for women and girls living in a country which already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe
Anna Błuś, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Western Europe and Women’s Rights

“Compounded by the so-called ‘conscience clause’, which allows doctors to refuse treatment on religious grounds, it will place new obstacles in the way of those in need of emergency contraception. These obstacles may prove insurmountable for teenagers and those in remote, rural areas, and will have a particularly  catastrophic impact on rape survivors.”

Background

The law was approved by the Polish Senate on 1 June and, if signed by the President, will come into force within 30 days, after which  emergency contraception will only be accessible on prescription in Poland, contrary to European Union’s recommendations.