The Ordo Iuris institute is taking the European Parliament (EP) to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the resolution the EP adopted on abortion in Poland. The EP resolution slammed Poland for allegedly “threatening the health and lives of women”.
The EP resolution was a reaction to a constitutional court ruling further restricting access to abortion for women in Poland. The ruling sought by conservative MPs has ruled that abortions on the grounds of an unborn child’s potential disability are unconsitutional as they are contrary to the constitutional guarantee on the right to life, which according to the constitutional court begins at conception.
The court’s decision, which still awaits publication, led to mass protests across Poland. The ruling has effectively ended the abortion compromise struck in the 1993 family planning act by which abortion was restricted to cases involving unlawful acts, the threat of the llife and health of the mother and potential severe disability of the unborn child.
The Catholic Church and conservatives have campaigned for years to further restrict abortion. Back in the 1990s the constitutional court blocked attempts to liberalise abortion to include social harship critera. Now the constitutional court has restricted abortion much further.
Resolution of the EP
The EP resolution which was passed by a large majority as it was supported by all the major political groups, with the exception of the Polish ruling Law and Justice (PiS) dominated European Conservative Reformers alleges that Poland has effectively outlawed abortion. Ordo Iuris and other opponents of the resolution have pointed out that the EU has no competence in the sphere of reproductive health rights therefore it regards the resolution’s call for making abortion a fundamental health right as a breach of competence by the EP. Ordo Iuris also argue that the resolution’s opposition to a conscience clause that allows health workers to opt out of having to participate in abortions is a violation of the Charter of fundamental rights of the EU.
Ordo Iuris are also to object to the way they were attacked in the EP’s resolution. The institute argues that it has been slandered by claims that it is fundamentalist and acting against human rights and in favour of the non-existent “LGBT free zones”.
Ordo Iuris growing profile
It is the calling out of Ordo Iuris which the institute believes has given it grounds for an unprecedented legal action which would make the EP’s resolution invalid. Ordo Iuris will file for the ECJ to find the resolution in violation of EU treaties and law. According to the institute its submission will argue that it is protecting the principle of the rule of law which gives everyone rights to a fair hearing. It will demand the removal of the resolution and financial compensation.
The dispute over the EP resolution coincides with the new edition of the POLITICO ranking of the 28 most influential individuals in Europe which included Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the head of Ordo Iuris. It considers the resolution of the EP on abortion as a challenge to the rule of law in Europe as the EP is effectively and illegally calling for a change in domestic legislation and the overruling of a constitutional court in Poland. The demands the resolution makes of Poland to create access to comprehensive sex education and to stop using the consicence clause in the medical profession as an example of excessive use of religious and cultural values are outside of the competences of the EP or the EC.
Ordo Iuris also categorically reject the notion that abortion is a human right and a medical service. There is no provision in international law on reproductive rights.
The organisation also denies that it is opposed to human rights. It points to its campaigning for the right to life, freedom of speech and conscience and against domestic violence. It also claims that it is combating discrimination of underpriveleged groups which are committed to traditional and family values.