Poland bans abortion for birth defects

Poland bans abortion for birth defects

Poland's top court has ruled a law allowing abortion of foetuses with congenital defects is unconstitutional.

The decision by the country's Constitutional Court on Thursday effectively bans terminating pregnancies in cases when birth defects are found.

Two judges in the 13-member court did not back the majority ruling.

The ruling came in response to a motion from politicians who argued that terminating a pregnancy due to such defects violated the provision of the Polish Constitution protecting the life of every individual.

The challenged law was introduced in 1993 that also allows abortions when a pregnancy endangers a woman's health or life, or results from rape or other illegal act.

Explaining its decision, the court said there can be no protection of the dignity of an individual without the protection of life.

Polish politicians considered legislation earlier this year that would have imposed a near-total ban on abortion but ended up postponing a final vote on the proposal brought by a Catholic group.