No Explicit Provision for Conscientious Objection

Country: Poland

Date of incident: May 21, 2013

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Governmental

While the abortion law in Poland is rather restrictive, it does not contain an explicit provision for “conscientious objection” to any of the medical staff involved in legal abortion.

Currently, there is no legal obligation forcing medical students to take part in an abortion as a condition for completing their education. Nevertheless the new syllabus of 2012 imposes on them the obligation to “know in practice all the basic medical and therapeutic procedures” within the gynecological area of medicine. The interpretation of the above may include abortion. The Pharmaceutical Act imposes on the pharmacy the obligation to sell all pharmaceuticals or parapharmaceuticals which are legally accepted in Poland. There is no legal possibility to decline the sale of such an item for conscience reasons. Even though the “morning-after-pill” is illegal, pharmacists would prefer not to sell other drugs which partly work as abortifacients.

Source and further information: The Observatory's Report 2012 on Legal Restrictions Effecting Christians in Europe