Rights, Lawfare and Reproduction: Reflections on the Polish Constitutional Tribunal's Abortion Decision

Magdalena Furgalska, Fiona de Londras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2020 the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland held that the legislation that permitted abortion in cases of ‘fatal foetal anomaly’ was an unconstitutional interference with the right to life of the foetus. This article examines the recent decision, which prohibits abortion on the grounds of foetal anomaly, arguing that this decision is part of a broader scheme of Polish and transnational anti-abortion lawfare. This lawfare seeks both to (re)shape Polish law in an anti-abortion mould, and to take advantage of ‘gaps’ in European and international human rights law standards on abortion in order to claim rights compliance for law and policy that, in reality, restricts access to abortion in a manner that is incompatible with international human rights law.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalIsrael Law Review
Early online date7 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s), 2022


  • Polish Constitutional Tribunal
  • abortion
  • lawfare
  • women's rights
  • reproductive rights
  • Poland
  • International human rights law

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