The law condemns children who can live to death, claims Krzysztof Brigza, a senator from the Civic Alliance. For several months, she has been searching for an answer to the question of what the October ruling of the Constitutional Court, which tightens the rules for abortion, means in a pregnancy with twins, when one fetus has a fatal defect, and the other is healthy. But it threatens the life of the first person. The Department of Health wrote again that such a situation occurs “rarely,” and that the Department of Justice initially covered itself with the “lack of a digital signature” in the senator’s letter, then stated that it was not responsible for interpreting a law.
The Constitutional Court, headed by Julia Brzynsepska, ruled in October 2020 that the provision of the so-called Anti-Abortion Act 1993, which allows abortions when prenatal tests or other medical indications indicate the possibility of severe and incurable impairment of the fetus or a terminal illness that threatens life. This means that the woman, despite the severe fetal defect, must give birth.
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Questions about getting pregnant with twins when one fetus has a fatal defect
The Senator of the Civic Coalition, Krzysztof Brygsa, became interested in what, in light of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, should take place in a situation where we are dealing with a twin pregnancy, when one fetus is healthy and the other has a fatal fetus. A defect that threatens the life of the first person. Such a question was directed to state institutions.
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In early February, the senator sent letters to the Department of Health and the Department of Justice. In it, he noted that in the current situation, due to the ban on the termination of diseased fetuses, “healthy twins are sentenced to death.”
Ministry of Health: Such cases are rare, but they do happen
His deputy, Valdemar Kraska, responded to the letter addressed to the Ministry of Health.
“In the opinion of the National Perinatal Medicine Consultant, the above case is a very serious issue. Although it is rare that a fetus with a fatal defect directly threatens the life of its twin, such situations may occur. Every twin pregnancy is By definition a high or high risk of pregnancy. Thus in the case where one fetus is burdened with a fatal defect, the termination of its development at least theoretically increases the chances of the other fetus reaching maturity in life outside the womb” – he wrote.
Furthermore, in the letter, Deputy Minister Kraska notes that before the provisions of the 1993 Act were amended, due to the Constitutional Court ruling, “sometimes a decision was made to selectively terminate a twin with a fatal defect (usually anencephaly or similar) – It’s called a cardiac fetal), but it wasn’t a routine procedure either, but each time it was an individual decision.”
He adds that “selective termination of a pregnancy in a twin may result in a complete loss of the pregnancy in a certain proportion of cases, and in the case of a single-cell pregnancy may pose a risk to the life and health of the other twin.” . However, at the end of his response, he admitted that such a measure is illegal in the current legal situation.
Ministry of Justice: We are not interested in interpreting the law
In its first response, the Department of Justice made no substantial reference to Senator Prize’s question, citing an official error. She wrote that “the lack of a digital signature makes it impossible to make a conclusive assessment of the credibility of the incoming correspondence and to proceed with the case.”
Senator Brigza raised this issue during the March session of the Senate and again asked Zbigniew Zebra’s Ministry for an answer. In May it was handed over by Vice Minister Michai Wu. “I would like to inform you that the legal provisions in force do not provide for the competence of the Minister of Justice in the field of legal interpretation of legal provisions, that is, interpretation by an authorized body” – he wrote.
“In order to obtain an answer to the question in the above statement, I recommend consulting the jurisprudence of the general courts, the Supreme Court, and above all the Constitutional Court. Jurisprudential (scientific) interpretation contained in the scholarly legal literature, for example studies, articles, reviews, may Also be useful. ”- added the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Justice.
“We have a sadistic law that condemns children who may live”
“It is clear,” Bariza said in an interview with tvn24.pl on the responses received from the ministries. We have a sadistic law that condemns children who may still be alive. This is approved by the Ministry of Health, said the opposition MP.
As he said, in cases of fatal defects in a twin fetus, “the child who can survive is doomed.” – I don’t know if the Doctor will rise to the height of humanity and risk a fight with Minister Zebra and other extremists – added the senator.
“The situation itself is tragic.”
Professor Mirosław Wilgoy, Head of the Department and Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Warsaw Medical University, National Consultant in Perinatology, referred to the case of a twin pregnancy described by Senator Bryza in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.
He stated that “the situation in itself is tragic” and that “it is inhumane to deprive a woman of choice in such a situation.” “For a woman, the best interest of the child is always paramount and she should have the right to be guided by it. If one child does not have a chance to survive, then she must have the opportunity to save the other child” – he emphasized.
He pointed out that medicine in such a situation gives women this opportunity, “but the Polish law deprived her of it.” “A woman can count only on the fact that nature will act on its own, and the sick fetus will die, but this does not mean that there will be no consequences for the other” – the doctor added.
“Deprivation of the Right to Selective Termination of Pregnancy in Twins”
Professor Zbigniew Zawarski – philosopher, bioethicist and honorary chair of the Bioethics Committee of the Presidency of the Polish Academy of Sciences – presented how such a situation could be resolved in other countries. “If I live in Stockholm, Edinburgh or Paris, in such a situation, doctors advise us of the so-called selective termination of a twin pregnancy. The life of the sick and deprived of any chance of a happy life for the fetus will cease, guided by the well-being of the twin growing in good health. The well-being of the family, the well-being of the mother. , and the best interest of the healthy child, although the unborn child is a moral justification for the decision proposed by medicine and law ”- he said .
“I do not understand why a single family or woman in the same situation in Poland is denied the right to selectively terminate a twin pregnancy. It is true that killing a sick unborn child is wrong, just as it is wrong to end the life of every unborn child. ”- the interviewer admitted. From “Wyborcza”.
tvn24.pl, Gazeta Wyborcza
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