Justyna Wydrzyńska is an activist and member of the Abortion Dream
Team and Abortion Without Borders. She has been charged with
facilitating abortion access, for giving her abortion pills to Ania,
a woman she did not know.
Ania was married to
an abusive man. The decision to have an abortion was easy for her, it
is the circumstances that were difficult. She was unable to travel to
a German clinic, after her husband threatened that he would report a
kidnapping if she left the country with their three-year-old. It was
the beginning of the pandemic and the postal services were
unreliable. Nobody knew how long it would take for abortion pills
ordered from Women Help Women to reach Poland. Ania looked for help
online and that is where she found Abortion Without Borders. She
asked for help and informed them that her husband was reading her
messages and emails and checking her browser history. This is how
Justyna learned about Ania’s story, which reminded her of her own
past – a few years back she was in the exact same situation.
Every single day
Abortion Without Borders is contacted by people, who are trying to
hide an unwanted pregnancy and their plan to terminate it. I myself
experienced how it feels to be with a man who controls you and denies
your right to decide about yourself. I had to keep my abortion secret
- says Justyna.
Justyna decided to
help Ania directly once she realized it might be difficult to help
her otherwise. “Where there is a will, there is a way” she told
herself and sent Ania her own abortion pills. The controlling husband
learned about their plan and they were both busted by the police.
Poland is one of
two EU countries where abortion is almost entirely banned. Polish
antiabortion law, passed in 1993, allowed for abortion only in three
cases: fetal defects, danger to life or health of the pregnant
person, or if the pregnancy was the product of a crime. A politically
biased Constitutional Tribunal tightened the law in 2020 by removing
the provision about fetal defects. People who have abortions are not
criminalized under Polish law, but those who directly help them are.
Justyna, a member of Abortion Without Borders, is facing up to three
years in prison.