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Healthcare

QUOTE BOX-Reaction to Polish court ruling restricting abortion

(Adds further reaction)

WARSAW, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled on Thursday that abortion due to foetal defects was unconstitutional, banning the most common of the few legal grounds for pregnancy termination in the predominantly Catholic country.

Here are some reactions to the ruling:

COUNCIL OF EUROPE COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, DUNJA MIJATOVIC:

“Removing the basis for almost all legal abortions in Poland amounts to a ban and violates human rights. Today’s ruling of the Constitutional Court means underground/abroad abortions for those who can afford and even greater ordeal for all others. A sad day for women’s rights.”

PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN PEOPLE’S PARTY, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF POLAND DONALD TUSK:

“To throw in the subject of abortion and produce a ruling by a pseudo-tribunal in the middle of a raging pandemic is more than cynicism. It is a political wickedness.”

LEADER OF MAIN OPPOSITION CIVIC PLATFORM PARTY, BORYS BUDKA:

“The Constitutional Tribunal, which can be called a pseudo-tribunal ... has today fulfilled the political order of (PiS leader) Jaroslaw Kaczyński... (He) used the pseudo-tribunal to introduce an inhumane law, he violated the law that had been in force since the 1990s.”

“He is trying to make Polish women’s life a living hell.”

MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, SYLWIA SPUREK:

“Today’s ruling shows that Polish women can no longer count on the protection of institutions established to defend the constitution and human rights.”

POLAND’S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER, ADAM BODNAR

“I think it should be the parliament that decides on an issue that is of such importance to millions of Polish women, not the Constitutional Tribunal, whose independence is questionable.”

KAMILA FERENC, LAWYER WITH WOMEN’S RIGHTS NGO

“It is a devastating sentence that will destroy the lives of many women and many families.”

MARIA KUROWSKA, UNITED POLAND PARTY MP

“One cannot kill a child for being sick. This is not a foetus, it is a child.”

POLAND’S COMMISSIONER FOR CHILD RIGHTS, MIKOLAJ PAWLAK:

“The decision of the Constitutional Court declaring eugenic abortion incompatible with the constitution is a victory of life over death. It is a restoration of equal rights for every human being, including those who have not yet been born.”

Reporting by Marcin Goclowski, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Joanna Plucinska, Anna Koper and Alicja Ptak; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Janet Lawrence

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