Polish court convicts activist for providing abortion pills to pregnant women

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Polish activist Justyna Wydrzynska was on Tuesday found guilty of supplying a pregnant woman with abortion pills in the Catholic country, her NGO said, in Poland's first such case.

Poland has one of Europe's most restrictive termination laws and all abortion is banned except in cases of rape and incest, or when the mother's life or health is considered at risk.

"Guilty: of providing assistance," the Abortion Dream Team organisation co-founded by Wydrzynska said on Twitter following the verdict.

It added that she was sentenced to "eight months of community service at 30 hours a month."

Wydrzynska had faced up to three years in prison on charges of "helping with an abortion" and "unauthorised possession of medicine".

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Wydrzynska said she would file an appeal.

"I do not feel guilty... I don't accept the verdict," she added.

She said she would "continue to answer the phone for Abortion Dream Team" to help women in need.

The organisation said it had helped with 44,000 abortions last year.

'Dangerous precedent'

Amnesty International had said ahead of the trial that the case was a first in Europe.

"The case marks the first in Europe in which an activist is being prosecuted for aiding an abortion by providing abortion pills," it said last year.

Amnesty International's chief Agnes Callamard on Tuesday said the case set "a dangerous precedent in Poland, where abortion is nearly completely banned."

Wydrzynska was found guilty of having provided the pills to a woman in her twelfth week of pregnancy in 2020.

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