RZESZOW, Poland — A hospital in Poland has stopped performing abortions after every single OB/GYN at the facility signed a conscience clause opting out of having any part in ending the lives of unborn children.
The doctors work at Specialist Hospital Pro-Familia in Rzeszow. Abortion is illegal in Poland except in the cases of rape, genetic abnormality and the life of the mother, but the the hospital had been the center of attention in 2014 when a midwife came forward as a witness to abortions allegedly occurring at the facility.
Hospital Pro-Familia had threatened to sue Agata Rejman over her statements that the facility “kills children,” but Rejman left her job instead. Pro-life groups such as The Right to Life Foundation picketed the hospital and were met with both criminal civil litigation, as officials asserted that they had tarnished Hospital Pro-Familia’s reputation by equating abortion with murder.
Hospital director Radosław Skiba has confirmed that the facility is no longer performing abortions.
“[I]f the hospital most aggressive against pro-life activists can stop killing the unborn, then any and every hospital can and should do it. Only courage and perseverance are needed,” Mariusz Dzierżawski of The Right to Life Foundation told reporters.
As previously reported, the pro-life group Fundacja Pro (Pro Foundation) has been collecting signatures in an effort to do away with the abortion exceptions in the country. The move was was sparked by outrage over a recent botched abortion at Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw in which the 24-week child, who had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was left unattended to die.
“The scream of this child was so traumatic for the personnel that they declared that they will never forget it,” Polish reporter Anna Wiejak told the outlet Church Militant.
The matter sparked outrage among Catholic leaders in the country. Over 90 percent of Polish citizens identify as Roman Catholic.
“[The citizens bill] removes the three existing circumstances under which an abortion is currently permitted,” explains the legal group Ordo Iuris, which wrote the proposed language of the measure. “The initiative requires the state to support families raising handicapped children or children conceived in in circumstances related to the commission of an offense.”
Abortion had been banned altogether in Poland until 1932, and other exceptions have come and gone, such as in 1997, when “emotional distress” was introduced but struck down by the Polish Constitutional Court.