Poland Catholic Magazine Fined for Criticizing Woman’s Abortion Decision
by Steven Ertelt
September 23, 2009
Warsaw, Poland (LifeNews.com) — A court in Poland today fined a Catholic magazine for likening a woman to a killer for wanting to get an abortion allegedly because she would go blind if she did not have an abortion. The case eventually netted Poland a 25,000 euro fine from the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a decision in September 2007 upholding its previous ruling making Poland pay a woman $52,000 for denying her an abortion.
The woman couldn’t get an abortion in 2000 after claiming that giving birth damaged her eyesight and she is now unable to take care of her three children.
The European Court of Human Rights sided with Alicja Tysiac.
Commenting on the case, the Catholic magazine, Gosc Niedzielny, published by the Katowice archdiocese, compared Tysiac to a Nazi and condemned her for wanting an abortion.
Judge Ewa Solecka ruled Wednesday that Catholics are free to express their moral disapproval of abortion but are not allowed to publicly vilify an individual. Solecka ordered the magazine to pay Tysiac 30,000 zlotys (nearly $11,000) and issue her a written apology.
Solecka said the magazines language was particularly contemptuous of Tysiac, according to an AP report.
Following the ruling, the editor of Gosc Niedzielny (Sunday Visitor), Rev. Marek Gancarczyk, wrote: We live in a world where a mother receives an award for very much wanting to kill her child, but not being allowed to do so.
Gancarczyk compared abortion to the ghastly medical experiments performed at Auschwitz by Josef Mengele, saying, They had become accustomed to the murders being carried out behind the fence of the camp. And what is the case today? Different, but just as terrible."
The magazine denounced Wednesdays ruling as an infringement on freedom of speech and said it would appeal, AP indicated.
Tysiac went to doctors when she found out in February 2000 that she was pregnant a third time. Three ophthalmologists alleged that carrying the pregnancy to term would damage her eyesight but they refused to sign off on a paper needed to approve an abortion for health reasons.
Tysiac also consulted with a gynecologist who told her there was no medical reason to have an abortion.
After having a Cesarean section in November 2000, Tysiac claims her eyesight deteriorated considerably due to a retinal hemorrhage.
Poland appealed the first decision and the European court affirmed its previous ruling alleging the pro-life nation violated article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights.
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