Amicus in the case of Justyna Wydrzyńska, activist criminalized for helping a woman access a safe abortion in Poland
Women's Link Worldwide has filed an amicus brief in the case of Justyna Wydrzyńska, a Polish activist criminalized for helping a woman access a safe abortion. Poland currently has one of the most restrictive legal frameworks for accessing abortion in Europe, which puts the lives of women and those who may become pregnant at risk.
In our amicus brief, we explain the need for a broad interpretation of the right to life ground; the right of activists to defend rights; the human rights violations involved in the reprisals against Justyna, specifically her rights to freedom of expression and association; and the impact this criminalization has on other women human rights defenders and women in general.
If you would like to see a copy of the amicus, please write to [email protected] with your request. Thank you.
Amicus before the European Court of Human Rights to challenge Poland’s highly restrictive abortion law
Since a January 2021 ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal banned access to abortion in almost all circumstances, challenging Poland’s highly restrictive abortion law and seeking justice. Nine leading international human rights organizations have filed third-party interventions to the European Court of Human Rights, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), Women Enabled International, Women’s Link Worldwide, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The interventions provide evidence and analysis drawing on international human rights law, comparative European law and guidelines from the World Health Organization. They outline the profound implications that highly restrictive abortion laws have on the lives and health of women and girls of reproductive age.
Amicus in the case of the indigenous Achi women who suffered sexual violence during the genocide in Guatemala
This amicus curiae was presented by the organizations Women’s Link Worldwide, la Corporación Humanas, la Red Nacional de Mujeres, la Corporación Sisma Mujer y Colombia Diversa, all of whom are part of the Cinco Claves alliance. It was presented before the Sala Primera de Apelación de Mayor Riesgo of Guatemala, as part of the criminal procedure hearing the case of the indigenous Achi women who survived sexual violence during the genocide in Guatemala.
In April 2018 we submitted an amicus brief before the Supreme Court of Rwanda in a criminal case in which a woman was appealing the decision to condemn her to life imprisonment for the crime of infanticide. In view of the low socio-economic status of the woman, her total lack of access to any information on family planning or sexual and reproductive health services, and the fact that she had not had any legal representation during any of the previous hearings of her case, our submissions focused on the national, regional and international human rights standards on the right to life and health, non-discrimination and due process. Our amicus has an intersectional approach and specifically sought address the woman’s circumstances at the time of the incident, and how these circumstances had affected her mental health.
In January 2018, we submitted an amicus curiae before the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi during the process that had to decide to restore the "Standards & Guidelines for reducing morbidity & mortality from unsafe abortion" in Kenya, that had been withdrawn in December 2013 by the Director of Medical Services.
In support of the Honduran movement Somos Muchas, which seeks the decriminalization of abortion on three grounds, we submitted an amicus curiae to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras explaining that the absolute criminalization of abortion is not in accordance with the Honduran Constitution and violates the country's international human rights obligations. Based on these arguments, we also asked the Court to take into account the urgency of decriminalizing abortion on three grounds: i) when there is a risk to the life or health of the pregnant woman, girl, or pregnant person; ii) when there is a fetal abnormality that makes its life outside the uterus unviable, and iii) when the pregnancy occurs as a result of rape.