Polish Catholic Magazine Fined for Anti-Abortion Editorial
Date of incident: December 31, 2009
Category: Government Restrictions
Attack against: Morals
Area of case: Governmental
In 2009 the Roman Catholic Polish magazine, Gosc Niedzielny (Sunday Visitor) was fined nearly €25,000 for an anti-abortion editorial.Alicja Tysiąc, named in the editorial, had previously won a ‘wrongful birth’ suit against the Polish government at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after being refused an abortion, which is only legal in cases of rape, serious handicap of the child, or serious health risk to the mother.
In an editorial responding to the ECHR judgment, the magazine compared abortion to the medical experiments at Auschwitz, Poland. Judge Ewa Solecka, in ordering the magazine to print an apology, ruled that while Catholics are free to express their moral disapproval of abortion, it must be done in a general way and without inciting “contempt, hostility [or] malice.”
Following this verdict, the editor responded saying, “In consequence, Ms. Tysiąc will receive 25.000 € damages, plus the costs of proceedings, for not being able to kill her child. In other words, we are living in a world where a mother is granted an award for the fact that she very much wanted to kill her child, but was forbidden to do so."