· The Ordo Iuris Institute has made its fourth appeal to the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland to oppose international recognition of abortion as a human right.
· Ordo Iuris points out that UN resolutions moving in this direction could become a binding international law norm for states, obliging them to expand access to abortion.
· The Office of the President responded to the previous appeal by recognizing that the principles expressed in the Vienna Convention would prevent the creation of norms of international law that are not supported by treaties.
· However, the Institute noted in a subsequent appeal that, in practice, the inaction of state bodies responsible for foreign policy will result in the formation of a customary law norm that will deprive unborn children of their right to life
· The correspondence between Ordo Iuris and the Chancellery relates to a UN General Assembly resolution last September pushing for the possibility of recognizing in international law the so-called right to abortion.
In September 2022. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on international cooperation on access to justice, remedies and support for victims of sexual violence. The document, under the guise of addressing violence against women and girls, calls on states to "promote and protect reproductive rights," including providing access to "safe and effective methods of modern contraception," "emergency contraception" (which are essentially early abortifacients) and "safe abortion." Thus, the resolution pushes an arbitrary interpretation of international law that recognizes abortion as a human right. While no international treaty grants anyone the "right to abortion" or the "right to contraception," in practice, for many years some international bodies have argued that these rights derive from the right to privacy and even the right to life.
The Ordo Iuris Institute has already sent four letters to Polish President Andrzej Duda urging him to oppose this interpretation of human rights at the UN. In both letters, the Institute warned that while UN General Assembly resolutions have no formal binding force, in practice they can become a tool for the development of customary law, which is already binding on states. In turn, international custom could force Poland to recognize a "right to abortion" or a "right to early abortion remedies," even though it has not signed any treaty establishing such rights. The only way to avoid such a scenario is for Poland - represented internationally by its president, among others - to express unequivocal opposition to such interpretations of human rights treaties.
The Polish president, however, has not taken the steps called for by the Ordo Iuris Institute. On behalf of the head of state, a renewed response was given by Malgorzata Paprocka, secretary of state in the Office of the President. In a letter dated January 23, she pointed out that "cases of selective interpretation of international documents, carried out in violation of the principles of interpretation contained in the Vienna Convention ... do not invalidate the binding force and meaning of these principles." In addition, Minister Paprocka stressed that the principles of interpretation expressed in the Vienna Convention "prevent individual words from being taken out of context and thus creating human rights that are not supported by international agreements."
In response to the letter, the Ordo Iuris Institute sent another letter, explaining that the inaction of the President of Poland and other state bodies responsible for foreign policy will, over the course of several years, result in the formation of a common law norm that will deprive unborn children of their right to life, forcing countries such as Poland to legalize abortion on demand, regardless of constitutional regulations. The Institute also pointed out that the interpretation of regulations by international organizations in violation of the rules of interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties does not actually lead formally to its repeal and deprivation. However, this does not change the fact that, in practice, the Convention is losing relevance, and the so-called dynamic method of treaty interpretation is gaining, for which, in order to determine the content of a provision, the most important thing is not the text, but the social context, as determined by the members of international organizations. Although, applying the principles of interpretation expressed in the Vienna Convention, it is impossible to derive a right to abortion from human rights treaties, it did not prevent the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the CEDAW Committee and many other international bodies from deriving such a "human right" from these treaties.
- We consider as overly optimistic the Chancellery's position that the principles of interpretation expressed in the Vienna Convention "prevent individual words from being taken out of context and thus creating human rights that are not supported by international agreements." The practice of international bodies testifies to the contrary. However, the law firm downplays its significance, basing its position on outdated rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and one ruling of the International Court of Justice on racial discrimination, an issue unrelated to the dangers of international human rights bodies seeking to impose a "right to abortion" on states. According to the well-established position of the doctrine of international law, the only effective way to avoid binding Poland to the "customary right to abortion" is for the Polish authorities - preferably by the President of the Republic - to unequivocally express their opposition to such an interpretation of human rights," stressed Weronika Przebierała, director of the International Law Center of the Ordo Iuris Institute.
· Amendments to the Public Order Bill are under way in the British Parliament.
· It concerns so-called "safe access" zones around abortion clinics in the UK.
· Similar legislation is currently in effect in Northern Ireland, where areas are created within 150 meters of these facilities, where it is forbidden not only to protest against abortion, but even to pray quietly and talk about alternatives to abortion.
· The issue of abortion remains a subject of intense public debate in Poland. Over the past 30 years, numerous public opinion polls have been conducted on the subject.
· Their results show that support for eugenic abortion has declined since 1992, with an increase recorded only incidentally.
· The majority of Poles also do not support so-called abortion on demand and abortion motivated by the mother's difficult situation.
- Proceedings are pending in the Warsaw-Praga District Court against Justyna Wydrzyńska, an activist of the Abortion Dream Team, accused of aiding and abetting a drug abortion.
- The activist gave early abortion drugs to a woman who intended to have an abortion.
- The Ordo Iuris Institute is participating in the proceedings as a social organization.