izabela sajbor’s family blames poland’s strict abortion law for her death
Europe – Izabela Sajbor had been aware for weeks that her long-awaited child would probably not survive. Last September, she became aware that she would probably pass away alongside it.
Just 12 hours before she passed away, the 30-year-old texted to her mother in a series of tearful texts, “I pray I won’t have sepsis because then I won’t leave this hospital.”
Izabela was 22 weeks pregnant when she was brought to the hospital after going into labor too soon. She had only recently learned that her pregnant child had the rare genetic condition Edwards’ Syndrome. Her doctor advised her to plan for the possibility that most people with the illness may pass away before they are ever born.
According to her sister-in-law Barbara Skrobol, Izabela was devastated. She was quite eager to have the child since her daughter, who is nine, needed a sibling. But Izabela requested an abortion for medical reasons after learning of the fetal abnormalities.
According to Skrobol, they visited Polish medical professionals and enquired as to whether they could end the pregnancy but they replied “no”. Her waters broke just as she was planning a trip abroad.
Izabela told her mother from her hospital bed in Pszczyna, southern Poland, that the doctors were waiting for the fetus’ heart to stop beating before operating on her through cesarean section in an effort to prevent sepsis, a potentially fatal condition brought on by the body’s reaction to an infection.
She wrote in one text message, “My life is in danger.”
The anti-abortion statute prevents the doctors from providing care as long as the fetus is still alive, she wrote. A lady is comparable to an incubator.
Izabela was brought to the operating room after a scan revealed that the fetus had passed away. Izabela, however, suffered a heart collapse and passed away while traveling there, according to the family’s attorney. No formal cause of death has been disclosed. The reason Izabela’s doctors decided against performing an abortion is also unknown.
Abortion was only permitted in the largely Catholic nation for nearly three decades if the pregnancy was the product of rape or incest, if the mother’s life was in danger, or if there were abnormalities in the fetus.
However, when the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party took office in 2015, they vowed to tighten the law even more, promising to do away with the fetal abnormality exception, which, according to data from the Polish Ministry of Health, accounted for 98% of all known legal abortions performed in Poland in 2019. This was the most commonly used justification for legal abortion.
The party’s attempts to modify the statute were thwarted by parliamentary opposition. However, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, the highest court in the nation, declared in October 2020 that women’s right to terminate pregnancies in the event of fetal abnormalities was illegal and that this exception amounted to “eugenic practices.”