First flight Abortion Drone, Poland 2015

The Abortion Drone was a success, women in Poland receive medical abortions. The drone departed from Germany and landed at the opposite side of the river in Slubice, Poland.
While the drones were crossing the German/Polish border , the German Police tried to intervene but the drone pilots were able to safely land the drones at the Polish side.
Two Polish women swallowed the abortion pills. The German police confiscated the drone controllers and personal iPads. They claim there was a violation of the Arzneimittel gesetz. After a extensive investigation charges were dropped in May 2016.

For more images of the Abortion Drone flight click here 

The current restrictive Polish abortion abortion law creates social injustice and affects especially the women without financial means or information. 

Abortion reality in Germany and Poland

According to the World Health organisation “In countries where induced abortion is legally highly restricted and/or unavailable, safe abortion has frequently become the privilege of the rich, while poor women have little choice but to resort to unsafe providers, causing deaths and morbidities that become the social and financial responsibility of the public health system” and “Laws and policies on abortion should protect women’s health and their human rights. Regulatory, policy and programmatic barriers that hinder access to and timely provision of safe abortion care should be removed.” [4]

Germany, a country with 80 million population and one of the lowest abortion rates in the world (together with Belgium and the Netherlands) had around 99700 abortions in 2014 according to the German National Statistics bureau.[5][6]

The official number of abortions in Poland, a country with 38 million inhabitants, is only 744. If the abortion rate in Poland is as low as in Germany, in reality at least 48000 underground abortions take place in Poland every year!! Probably this number is much higher, as there is a lack of appropriate sexual education and accessible contraceptive services.  Estimates are that at in reality least 5 times more, or  240000 abortions are done in Poland (44 per 1000 women in child bearing age have an abortion every year in Poland compared to 7 in Germany) [7]

There is also an urgent need for compulsory non-biased sexual education and easy access to all forms of contraceptives, including sterilization (which is also prohibited in Poland)[8].

 

Abortion pills

The medicines used for a medical abortion, mifepristone and misoprostol, have been on the list of essential medicines of the WHO since 2005 and are available in Germany and almost all other European countries. However this medicine is still not registered in Poland. 

Scientific research by the World health Organisation has shown that medical abortion can easily be done by women themselves at home without supervision by health professionals. A medical abortion has the same health impact as a spontaneous miscarriage.  Usually women themselves without additional medical supervision handle a miscarriage. [9]

In Poland, a pregnant woman cannot be subjected to punishment for illegal abortion or for any other action leading to a miscarriage.[10]

For pregnancies of up to 9 weeks (63 days) a medical abortion is done:

1-    A woman swallows 1 tablet of 200 mg Mifepristone

2-    24 hours later the woman puts 4 tablets (800 μg) of misoprostol under the tongue (sublingual).

 

Human right violations 

Even women who would be allowed to have an abortion under the restrictive law, are refused treatment by doctors and hospitals such as the case of the 14 years old raped girl P,  who was denied access to safe and legal abortion services due to harassment and intimidation by hospital workers, the police and others.  Alicja Tysiac suffered severe health consequences and won the case against the Polish  Government  In European Court of Human rights for denying a her  a access to a lawful abortion, but she is still affected by this.

Women in Poland are furthermore denied the possibility to benefit from scientific advances since medical abortion,  one of the essential medicines of the Wold Health Organisation, is not registered in Poland.  (7)

Restrictive abortion laws like the one in Poland are violating international human rights agreements such as the right to health. 

The World Health Organisation’s definition of health is: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

The right to health has been recognised in numerous international human rights treaties, such as: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 25.1 in 1948; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: Article 5 (e) (iv) in 1965; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Article 12.1 in 1966; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Articles 11 (1) (f), 12 and 14 (2) (b) in 1979; the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 24; the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families: Articles 28, 43 (e) and 45 (c) in 1990, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Article 25 in 2006. 

In October 2011, Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, submitted a report to the UN General Assembly which stated: “Criminal laws penalising and restricting induced abortion are the paradigmatic examples of impermissible barriers to the realization of women's right to health and must be eliminated. These laws infringe women's dignity and autonomy by severely restricting decision-making by women in respect of their sexual and reproductive health”  

The Abortion drone  campaign is a collaboration between Women on Waves; Ciocia Basia, Feminoteka Foundation, the 8 th of March women’s rights informal collective “Porozumienie kobiet 8 marca”, Berlin-Irish Pro Choice Solidarity, Codziennik Feministyczny, and the Political group Twoj Ruch.


To see live stream footage of the Abortion Drone https://www.youtube.com/embed/nuA7fkYQy3E

 

Polish women who need help with an unwanted pregnancy can call  hotline number +48 (22) 211 8866 (from Monday-Thursday 10AM till 8PM and Friday-Sunday 9AM till 2PM)

They can always email: info@womenonweb.org

  

Resources

  1. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/175556/1/9789241564984_eng.pdf?ua=1
  2. http://www.espi.or.at/News-Archive/31-may-2012-espi-perspective-on-recent-uas-regulations-in-poland-online  According to the article 126 of Polish Aviation Act, if an UAS were to fly in non-controlled or non-classified airspace, then it would not require any previous permission.
  3. http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/luftvo/__16.html
  4. http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241548434/en/
  5. http://www.dw.de/abortions-in-germany-decline-over-last-decade/a-18305629
  6. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/policy/WorldAbortionPolicies2013/WorldAbortionPolicies2013_WallChart.pdf
  7. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/sexual-and-reproductive-health/activities/abortion/facts-and-figures-about-abortion-in-the-european-region
  8. http://ponton.org.pl/sites/ponton/files/what_sex_education_poland_ponton_report_2009.pdf
  9. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70914/1/9789241548434_eng.pdf?ua=1
  10. http://www.federa.org.pl/dokumenty_pdf/raporty/report_federa_20_years_polands_abortion_law.pdf
  11.  http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/sexual-and-reproductive-health/activities/abortion/facts-and-figures-about-abortion-in-the-european-region
  12. http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html, accessed 2-1-2014
  13. Shaw D. Abortion and Post-abortion Care - Volume II Abortion and human rights. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology Volume 24, Issue 5, October 2010. Pages 633–646.
  14.  https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2012/10/poland-must-implement-landmark-european-court-ruling-abortion/
  15. http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-79812
  16. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/gashc4018.doc.htm accesses 2-1-2014
  17. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/175556/1/9789241564984_eng.pdf?ua=1
  18. https://www.hna.de/welt/frauen-schicken-pillen-drohne-nach-polen-polizei-ermittelt-zr-5179805.html
Drone waiting for take off
Polish woman taking medicines
German police officers taking the controller to their car

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