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Poland abortion: Polish women look for help in Germany after terminations all but banned

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By Euronews
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Protester holds up sign against Polish court ruling
Protester holds up sign against Polish court ruling   -   Copyright  AFP
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An abortion charity in Berlin said it is receiving an increasing number of calls from Polish women after Poland put into place a near-total ban on terminations.

The court ruling struck down a provision that had allowed abortions in instances of severe foetal abnormalities.

The charity, Ciocia Basia, said the decision worsens a situation already complicated by the pandemic.

Volunteer, Ula Bertin, works there and said: "We have had a high increase in callers. Three times as many as before.

"Often women seeking help were already in the process of arranging an abortion in Poland and now no one wants to do it. So they're mentally exhausted, traumatised.

"They're punished twice because the child they were awaiting has turned out to be sick and may not survive, but they're being forced to deliver. It's emotional torture," she added.

Other organisations are also reporting a similar increase in calls for help.

Abortion Without Borders (AWB), a multinational coalition, said that since the court ruling it has helped 40 women travel abroad for an abortion - already more than double its monthly average.

AWB's Mara Clarke said the sudden increase in calls from Polish women was also because protesters were chanting the name of the organisation and its phone number at the mass nationwide demonstrations that have been taking place for days against the law.

But others believe the court ruling was the right decision.

A spokesman for Right To Life UK said: "It protects the rights of people with disabilities.

"Previously they were discriminated against. It was not legal to terminate children in most instances but you could terminate children because they had a disability, which I think is fundamentally unfair and unjust.

"I think although it's [the ruling in Poland] got a negative backlash that was fundamentally the right decision and people with disabilities across Poland and the world are very, very pleased with this decision because it validates them as worthwhile members of society."