Women's Reproductive Rights as a Political Price of Post-communist Transformation in Poland

Joanna Diane Caytas


Following Poland’s change of regime in 1989, the country enacted Europe’s most restrictive legislation on reproductive rights and steadily tightened this regime ever since. Later, a liberal Polish government was presented with the choice between liberalizing abortion law or Catholic Church support for the referendum to join the European Union. This article discusses the genesis and background of Polish law on reproductive rights in the context of public health as well as its enforcement, its near-irreconcilable conflicts with international human rights law and established precedent. It examines the economics of abortion and analyses the interests of politicians, the clergy and health care professionals.


reproductive rights; abortion law; economics of abortion; litmus test; European Convention on Human Rights; European Bioethics Convention; Poland; post-communist transition

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Copyright (c) 2013 Joanna Diane Caytas

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