Judgment concerning Poland

Human Rights building in winter

In the case of M.L. v. Poland the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private and family life.

The case concerned restrictions on abortion rights. The applicant alleged that she had been banned from having access to a legal abortion in the case of foetal abnormalities, following a 2020 Constitutional Court judgment. She had become pregnant and the foetus was diagnosed with trisomy 21. A scheduled hospital abortion had been cancelled when the legislative amendments resulting from the Constitutional Court ruling had come into force. Unable to have an abortion in Poland, she had ultimately had to travel to a private clinic abroad for the procedure.

The Court found that the legislative amendments in question, which had forced her to travel abroad for an abortion at considerable expense and away from her family support network, had to have had a significant psychological impact on her. Such interference with her rights, and in particular with a medical procedure for which she had qualified and which had already been put in motion, had created a situation which had deprived her of proper safeguards against arbitrariness.

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