WARSAW, June 8 (Reuters) – A group of abortion rights cases filed by eight women against Poland was inadmissible, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled unanimously on Thursday, citing a lack of strong medical evidence, among other factors.
The court added that about 1,000 other similar cases awaited its decision.
Thursday’s ruling relates to eight Polish women who argued that their human rights were violated by a 2020 verdict by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that banned the termination of pregnancies where the foetus had defects.
The near-total abortion ban came into effect in 2021 amid massive protests throughout the country. Along with Malta, Poland’s anti-abortion laws are among the most restrictive in Europe.
The eight women, born between 1980 and 1993, had argued in particular that they were effectively banned from having access to legal abortion in the case of foetal abnormalities.
“The Court found that the applicants had failed to provide any convincing medical evidence proving that they had been at real risk of being directly affected by the 2020 legislative amendments,” the ECHR wrote in a statement.
“The consequences for the applicants of the legislative amendments were thus too remote and abstract for them to arguably claim to be ‘victims’ within the meaning of the European Convention of Human Rights,” the ECHR said in its unanimous decision.
The applicants had also argued that the abortion restrictions were not “prescribed by law” as the Constitutional Tribunal was not correctly composed and was not impartial.