ADF International


Landmark ruling: Poland recognizes the right to life of unborn children with disabilities


  • Constitutional Tribunal rules that abortion violates the right to life of unborn children with disabilities
  • ADF International intervened demonstrating clear protections for right to life in international law

WARSAW (23 October 2020) – Yesterday, Poland’s top court affirmed the right to life of unborn babies with disabilities. The Constitutional Tribunal of Poland ruled that abortions on the basis that the child may have a disability violate the right to life protected in Article 38 of the Polish Constitution. The global human rights organization ADF International intervened to highlight the clear protections which exist in international law for unborn children, including those with disabilities. It argued that screening out unborn babies based on disability violates a country’s obligations under international law.

“Every human life is precious. Human rights protect all members of the human family regardless of their age or abilities. We welcome this ruling that recognizes that Poland’s abortion law, in effect, discriminates against people with disabilities by allowing medical professionals to end the life of a child when that child does not fit the ‘normal’ profile of what some consider ‘healthy or desirable.’ As a society, we prohibit discrimination based on disability. This should also be true for babies in the womb. It is encouraging to see the right to life protected in this way by an EU Member State,” said Robert Clarke, Deputy Director of ADF International.

Systematic elimination of babies with disabilities

In a press release from the Constitutional Tribunal, released ahead of the formal written reasons, the Tribunal stated, “that the unborn child, as a human being who is entitled to inherent and inalienable dignity, is a subject having the right to life, and the legal system must guarantee due protection for this central good.” The Tribunal also called on the government to review the level of support provided to parents. The ruling will take effect when the judgment is published in the coming weeks.

More than a third of abortions performed in Poland on the basis of potential disability are due to a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Globally, over 90% of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. The ‘non-invasive’ prenatal blood test makes the targeting of babies with Down syndrome even easier. It is being heavily promoted throughout the world. Many governments have introduced the test despite 1968 WHO guideline criteria which states that population-wide screening is only ‘acceptable’ if a ‘treatment for patients with the disease’ is available.

You Can Make an Impact

Visit our campaign page to find out what you can do.

arrow-circle-up Top

Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.