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Home/The State of the Union/A Harbinger For Post-Roe America

A Harbinger For Post-Roe America

Poland's current battle over abortion and privacy is a preview of some of the most important debates a post-Roe America will have to grapple with.

Liberal internationalists, after finding brief common cause with Poland over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have reverted to shaming Poland for purportedly creating a “pregnancy register” that they fear will be used to go after women who seek abortions.

Last week, Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski signed an ordinance that said Poland’s Medical Information System will actively track vital health information, such as data on an individual’s medical devices, implants, allergies, blood type, and whether or not a woman is pregnant. But the abortion-crazed left believe that this medical data will be turned over to police and prosecutors to go after women who seek abortions.

Polish MP Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz reacted to the government’s new directive Monday. “This group of men who hate women goes a step further, creating a pregnancy registry only to be able to persecute and control Polish women, to create such another tool of repression, control, political influence of the state on our lives, health, on our families,” Gasiuk-Pihowicz claimed.

Beata Maciejewska, another Polish MP, went a step further, likening the alleged registry to slavery. “The next stage of the women’s horror is taking place before our eyes,”  Maciejewska breathlessly asserted. “PiS introduces a pregnancy registry. In a normal country this register would be something natural, but in Poland it is another whip on women, another attempt to enslave women.”

The hysteria didn’t end there. Katarzyna Lubnauer, a member of the European Parliament, came out against the pregnancy register, claiming, “fewer and fewer Polish women want to have children in Poland. More and more of them say that one of the decisions is that as long as this authority controls women, as long as there is a ban on abortion in dramatic situations, as long as someone keeps a record of pregnancies,” many women will chose not to have children.

If only there was a way to ensure, unequivocally, unplanned pregnancies for unmarried individuals don’t arise. 

Nevertheless, “we are not stupider than other European women,” Lubnauer claimed.

The jury is still out.

“A pregnancy registry in a country with an almost complete ban on abortion is terrifying,” Polish MP Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk said Monday.

All of this makes Poland’s “pregnancy register” seem much more “based,” as the youths say, than it actually is.

But first, a bit on Poland’s current abortion regime. One could say it’s a harbinger of what is to come in the early stages of a post-Roe United States, given conservative justices hold the line and the final Dobbs opinion reflects the draft decision leaked last month.

As it stands now, abortion in Poland is only legal when the continuation of the pregnancy puts the mother’s life in danger, or if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act.

One of the more recent changes in Poland’s abortion regime occurred in October of 2020, when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal decided a law that allowed abortions for unborn children with congenital defects was unconstitutional because it not only discriminated against the unborn child for their defects but violated every person’s right to life protected by Article 38 of the Polish Constitution.

Despite it’s extremely pro-life laws relative to that of the United States—which allows women to get abortions later in their pregnancy than anywhere in the western world—women in Poland are not criminally punished for illegally terminating their pregnancy. Rather, the criminal liability falls solely on the physician or other medical personnel who carried out the abortion. But an individual who helps or persuades a woman to get an illegal abortion may also face criminal penalties.

Back to the registry in question. The goal of this ordinance to modernize the Medical Information System, which came on the recommendation of E.U. bureaucrats and health experts from across the west, seeks to provide improved access to an individual’s medical history for doctors and other medical personnel when treating a patient.

Wojciech Andrusiewicz, a spokesperson for Poland’s Ministry of Health, said the increased transparency and access to medical data will improve health outcomes, not only in Poland, but across the E.U. if a Polish citizen seeks treatment elsewhere. By instantly knowing whether or not a woman is pregnant, doctors can ascertain if they can receive certain procedures, tests, and medications.

It seems the only reason one might shirk having the fact that they’re pregnant reflected on private medical records is if they don’t plan to bring the child to term, as opposed to other types of proposed registries, like a gun registry in the United States, a debate that has once again been inflamed by the tragedy in Uvalde.

“Nobody is creating a pregnancy register in Poland,” Andrusiewicz told TVN24.

But if it was, would it actually be that bad?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that Poland’s abortion laws are so restrictive that upwards of 95 percent of all cases of abortion in Poland’s former abortion regime of just 10 years ago are now illegal. Further adjustments are required, however.

For some odd reason, encouraging a woman to get an illegal abortion is considered a criminal act, but there are no criminal consequences for a woman who decides to obtain and take abortion pills to kill her unborn child on her own. Women are also not prosecuted if they decide to travel to Germany or the Czech Republic to obtain abortions that would otherwise be illegal in Poland. This is no small problem, either. In October of 2021, the Guardian reported than at least 34,000 women residing in Poland either illegally received abortions or traveled abroad to get one, many of them with the help of massive pro-abortion NGOs that profiteer off the slaughter of the unborn.

If a child in their mother’s womb has a right to life that the Polish government is obligated to protect, what difference does it make if a woman decides to murder her child on her own accord? If a woman seeks to rid herself of her child in Germany or the Czech Republic, does that make the child any less entitled to the protections guaranteed under Polish law? If a doctor sees that a patient is suddenly no longer pregnant, and finds evidence an abortion has taken place, does said doctor have the responsibility to report his findings—the murder of an unborn child?

These are all questions conservatives need to not just reckon with, but have actionable answers for, in the context of a post-Roe America. If the Polish left refuses to play by the rules, imagine what the abortion radicals here at home are willing to do.

about the author

Bradley Devlin is a Staff Reporter for The American Conservative. Previously, he was an Analysis Reporter for the Daily Caller, and has been published in the Daily Wire and the Daily Signal, among other publications that don't include the word "Daily." He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Economy. You can follow Bradley on Twitter @bradleydevlin.

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