Krzysztof WIAK, Penal Law Department of Lublin
Catholic University (KUL);
Legal protection of conceived child in Poland - transformations and the present legal state
The issue of legal and penal protection of the conceived child constituted one of the most important problems that Polish legislator had to face in recent years. The processes of democratization of social life at the turn of the 1980s and the 1990s, and the adoption of the standards of the state ruled by law, were associated with the rejection of the Marxist concept of fundamental rights and freedoms, and recognition of the existence of natural human rights originating from unalienable human dignity. It required a guarantee of the legal protection of the fundamental rights to which every human being is entitled, including the right to life from conception to natural death.
1. Historic outline
The first Polish Penal Code adopted on July 11, 1932 (Journal of Law Nr 60, item 571) protected life and proper development of the conceived child regarding "procurement of abortion" as the principle for penalizing (article 231 and 232). Every behavior resulting in the death of the conceived but still unborn child was considered a criminal offense. However, this protection was not complete since procurement of abortion was legalized if the intervention was performed by a medical doctor and was necessary because of the woman's health or when pregnancy resulted from crime.
Such a legal situation had continued for almost a quarter of a century until the adoption by the Sejm of the Polish People's Republic of the law of April 27, 1956 on the conditions of pregnancy termination (Journal of Law No 12, item 61), which deprived conceived child of direct legal and penal protection. During the Sejm debate it was stressed that liberalization that took place earlier in the USSR, and consideration given to women's health threatened with illegal abortions in improper conditions was the impulse to this change. The law introduced new, broadly defined "indications to pregnancy termination" in the form of "difficult living conditions of the pregnant woman" - binding irrespectively of the degree of fetus development, and the principle of impunity of the mother procuring abortion. The procedure of defining the difficult living conditions of the woman was specified by the Ordinance of the Health Minister of May 11, 1956. It gave to the doctor possibility to verify the statement of the woman on her difficult living conditions, among other measures, through a home interview. The Ordinance also did not permit to terminate the pregnancy by a doctor who issued a medical opinion on the permissibility of abortion. However, the regulations were quite promptly amended. A new Ordinance of the Health Minister of December 19, 1959 allowed the doctor, who gave opinion on abortion permission, to terminate the pregnancy. Also, the woman's statement on her difficult living condition was not subjected to verification. As a result, the principle of conceived child protection (although limited by exceptions) was replaced in practice by the so-called model of "abortion on demand". Legal and medical communities protested against the law. The attitude of the Catholic Church was the most uncompromising. In the situation where citizens were deprived of the possibility of expressing their opinion and they had no chance to influence on the legislative activity of the state, the Church was the only institution in which social initiatives, directed to awake respect for human life from conception, found support.
First legislative drafts providing the restoration of the legal protection of the conceived child appeared in 1980 and 1981. The proposal to provide full legal and penal protection of the conceived child's life and health constituted an important element of the reform of the Polish Penal Code drafted in 1981 by the 1st National Forum of Justice Employees Section of the "Solidarity" Trade Union. Unfortunately, proclamation of martial law halted the work.
More initiatives emerged along with democratic transformations at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. The initiatives underlined the principles of "holiness" and inviolability of human life at every stage of its development - from conception to natural death. In the years 1990 and 1991 the Sejm organized a national social consultation on the provisions of a draft law on the legal protection of conceived child. It guaranteed direct protection of human life and health from the moment of conception, however, with two exceptions - when pregnancy constituted a hazard to the life of the pregnant woman or when it resulted from a criminal act. Its intention was to annual the legality of pregnancy termination for the so-called social reasons. Over 1.7 million people took part in the consultations, well much more than could participate in a representative public opinion poll. Some 89 per cent of the respondents expressed their support for the draft law.
The standards of the legal protection of the conceived child were finally defined by the law of January 7, 1993 on family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of pregnancy termination (Journal of Law No 17, item 78).
The introduction included a solemn declaration that life is the fundamental right of man and care for life and health is the basic duty of the state. This declaration was consolidated by provisions of article 1 proclaiming that "every human being has the natural right to life from the moment of conception" and that the "child's life and health remain under legal protection from the moment of conception".
The law introduced new types of crimes to the Penal Code: causing the death of conceived child (art 149a of the Penal Code) and causing injury of the body of the conceived child or health disorder threatening its life (art. 156a of the Penal Code). Additionally, the provisions of article 23b prohibited research and experiments on the conceived child other than those, which serve the protection of its health and life. However, this protection was not full since in four cases the illegality of causing the death of the conceived child was excluded:
1) when pregnancy constituted a hazard to the health or serious threat to mother's health,
2) 2) when the death of the conceived child resulted from activity intended for saving the mother's life or for counteracting a serious harm to her health,
3) 3) when prenatal examination pointed to heavy and irreversible defect of the fetus,
4) 4) when there was justifiable suspicion that pregnancy resulted from a prohibited act (art. 149a §3 of the Penal Code).
Penalty for causing death of a conceived child by the mother was lifted completely (art. 149a §2 of the Penal Code).
The new parliament elected in 1993, dominated by left-wing parties standing for women right to abortion, undertook trial to change the law. It wanted to amend the law by introducing an additional, very broad foundation to the legal killing of the conceived child - namely for social reasons. The first attempt was blocked by President Lech Wałęsa with the Sejm unable to collect a sufficient number of votes to reject the veto.
Consecutive efforts were undertaken after the presidential elections of 1995, when president Kwa¶niewski, representative of socialists was elected. It led to the adoption of the law of August 30, 1996 on the amendment of the law on family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of pregnancy termination and on the amendment of some other laws (Journal of Law, No 139, item 646). It deleted from the law of January 7, 1993 the provisions of article 1, introducing in its place a norm confirming the principle of protection of the right to life, also in the prenatal phase, but only in limits specified by the law. On this way, the lawmaker beck out from recognizing the right to life as a natural right of every human being and made the scope of the due protection dependent on legacies included in the statutory laws. The law of August 30, 1996 deleted the term of "conceived child" from the Penal Code altogether, as well as all regulations directly protecting the life and health of a human being before birth. Two new, very unclearly specified reasons for pregnancy termination also appeared namely "difficult living conditions" or "difficult personal situation" of the woman.
The adoption of the law met with protests of the society. In September and October 1996, numerous marches in defense of life were organized and about 3.5 million letters with protest against the adopted amendments were sent to Senator Alicja Grze¶kowiak. On December 20, 1996 a group of 37 Senators asked the Constitutional Tribunal to examine the conformability of the amendments with the constitution. The objection concerning the contradiction of provisions contained in the law, with the principle of the democratic state ruled by the law resulting from article 1 of the Constitution was the most serious one from among the presented reservations. It had a "systemic" character - a vision of a state of law at its foundations, whose essence constitute not only the democratic procedures of making law, but where the substance of democracy is defined by the basic and universal values on which it is based. In particular, they include the natural and inviolable rights of man and family. The request stressed that they constitute limits, which cannot be overstepped by a democratic lawmaker.
In the opinion of the Senators the violation of the principles and values lying at the foundations of the democratic state ruled by law was particularly visible in the amendment of the normative approach to the right to life and its protection. Human life in the initial stage of development deprived of legal protection, and the introduction of the criterion of "difficult living conditions or difficult personal situation" as reasons for legal killing of the conceived child were considered as a violation of the constitutional principles of equality and social justice. Departing from an assumption based on indications coming from medical knowledge that "human life is a continuing process starting from the moment of conception" and that "there are no less or more important phases", the Senators negated the right of the lawmaker to exclude whatever phase of human development from legal protection. The lawmakers, by introducing the law of August 30, 1996, made the life of the conceived child a legal right less valuable than the living conditions and personal situation of the mother. It led to the impairment of the hierarchy of constitutional values, in which the human life should have the highest priority in relation to the above-mentioned interests, in addition, subjectively assessed by a woman.
Dependence of protection of human life on the phase of its existence aroused special reservations of the Senators. Because of the amendment, at the normative level, greater value was attributed to the life of a born child - or even the one that is being delivered, - with clear discrimination of the conceived, but still unborn child. Birth became the circumstance changing the legal status of the human being. Only at this moment the penal law enters into direct protection of human life and on the grounds of Civil code it gains the legal status. The Senators considered the fact of making birth the criterion for differentiation of the value of human life as contradictory with the constitutional principle of equality before law and identical protection of the rights of every human being.
In its decision of May 28, 1997, the Constitution Tribunal recognized the correctness of the majority of the objections presented in the complaint of the Senators. The Tribunal confirmed that human life has the rank of a constitutional value although the binding constitutional regulations do not contain norms directly guaranteeing the protection of human life. The obligation of guaranteeing the protection of human life the Tribunal drew from the principle of the democratic state ruled by law considering it as one of the standards of the modern democracy. The Constitutional Tribunal pointed out that the democratic state of law operates exclusively as a community of people, placing the human being and the rights most valuable for him in the center. In such state, the human being is entitled to life protection from the moment of conception. The value of the constitutionally protected legal right of human life cannot be differentiated depending on the phases of its development, since there are no precise and justified criteria to perform such a differentiation.
The conceived child is also entitled to the right to benefit from the possibly best health condition, ensuing from the principle of the democratic state of law and guaranteed in the Convention on Child Rights. The above norms obligate the lawmaker to introduce a prohibition on violating the life and health of the conceived child and establishment of legal measures to guarantee the execution of this ban in a sufficient manner.
One of the most important objections presented in the complaint by the Group of Senators concerned the permissibility of pregnancy termination in cases of "difficult living conditions" or "difficult personal situation" of the pregnant woman. Appearance of these circumstances signified permission to undertake actions generally prohibited and legalized the act of the perpetrator. In the opinion of the Tribunal, awarding primacy to one of legal rights by the lawmaker cannot be an arbitrary activity but should result from the comparison of the values of the colliding rights. The exclusion of the illegality of violation of a legal right should be embraced in closely specified limits - as not to signify its complete depravation of legal protection and be justified by an irremovable collision with another right, law or constitutional freedom. Circumstances removing the illegality of pregnancy termination for social reasons introduced by the law of August 30, 1996 did not meet the above-mentioned conditions. These reasons defined as "difficult living conditions" or "difficult personal situation" were of unclear character and were evaluated subjectively by the pregnant woman. She was the only person entitled to consider them in the form of an appropriate statement, which was not the subject to verification.
"Subjective conviction of the woman on the possible threat to her material situation or personal relations or the possibility of implementation of own needs, rights and freedoms" became a legal right by a decision of the lawmaker whose preservation was to justify the breakthrough in the legal protection of the conceived child. In the opinion of the Constitutional Tribunal, the comparison of the value of human life - the fundamental right of a human being - with the "right not to deteriorate one's material situation" explicitly disqualified social reasons provided in the law of August 30, 1996. That could also not be justified with the existence of the right to responsible decision on having children vested in both of the parents ("the right to parenthood").
Thus, the Constitutional Tribunal based its decision on the results of research of empiric sciences, which unequivocally links the manhood of the human being with the fact of affiliation to the human species, and its origins from the moment of conception. A thesis of the decision, pointing to the fact that respecting by the state community of the right to life from the moment of conception results from the substance of the democratic state ruled by law, constitutes an enormously important statement giving the protection of human life a strong normative foundation. It is worth stressing that the Tribunal did not only stop on the procedural interpretation of the principles of the democratic state ruled by law, but drew from it important directives for the lawmaker and associated them with values remaining at its foundations.
Directives deriving from the decision constituted a point of reference for normative changes executed in the successive years. Authors of the law of July 8, 1999 amending the Penal Code and the law on medical profession (Journal of Law No 6, item 69) were referring to it. It restored the general norm prohibiting, under the rigor of penalty, activities leading to the bodily harm of the conceived child or health disorder threatening its life and prohibited using a conceived child in research experiments. Recommendations of the Tribunal are also taken into account by the law of January 6, 2000 on the Child Ombudsman (Journal of Law No 6, item 69), which confirms that "every human being from the moment of conception till attaining full legal age is a child" (art. 2 point 1). This fact confirms that it is imperative to treat every human being from the moment of conception with respect due to man and his natural dignity.
2. The present legal state
Legislative changes from the years 1993-2000 generated a quite complicated legal situation in the scope of conceived child protection. The general guidelines are specified by the provisions of the Constitution (article 38 guaranteeing every human being the legal protection of life and article 68 guaranteeing everyone the right to health protection). A detailed scope of legal protection of the conceived child should be reconstructed from regulations (articles 152-154 and 157 a ) of the Penal Code and the law of January 7, 1993 on family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of pregnancy termination in wording provided by the law of August 30, 1996 and also of the decision of the Constitutional Tribunal of May 28, 1997 and the regulations of the law of December 5, 1996 on the medical profession specifying the conditions for conducting experiments on the conceived child with amendments introduced by the law of July 8, 1999.
The Penal Code has a special role among listed legal acts. Regulations penalizing "pregnancy termination (articles 152-154 of the Penal Code) were inserted into Chapter XIX "Crimes against life and health" between instigation to or rendering assistance in committing suicide (article 151) and unintentional adducting to human death (article 155). Provisions of article 152 §1 of the Penal Code consider pregnancy termination with woman's consent as criminal offence with violation of the provisions of the law of January 7, 1993. It is punishable with imprisonment ranging from 1 month to 3 years. A more severe penalty - from 6 months to 8 years - applies in case of pregnancy termination when the conceived child attained the ability to independent life outside the mother's womb (article 152 §3 of the Penal Code). Assistance to pregnant woman in pregnancy termination with the violation of the provisions of the law or inducement to such activity is penalized with imprisonment of up to 3 years (article 152 §2 of the Penal Code). Because the cited provisions deal with "pregnancy termination", the life of a human being conceived in result of artificial fertilization and developing in artificial environment (for example non-implanted embryos "in vitro") remain outside the legal and penal protection.
Legal solutions adopted in Poland in the scope of abortion permissibility are based on the so-called "model of reasons". Most of all, pregnancy termination may be performed only by a doctor and with the consent of the pregnant woman. The law of January 7, 1993 provides three conditions for pregnancy termination:
1. When pregnancy constitutes a threat to the life or health of the pregnant woman ("medical reason"),
2. When prenatal examination or other medical reasons point to big probability of heavy and irreversible defect of the fetus or incurable disease threatening its life ("eugenic reason"),
3. When there are justifiable suspicions that the pregnancy results from a prohibited act ("criminal reason").
The law also provides for time limits of pregnancy termination. Abortion after a certain period is a criminal offense. Abortion for eugenic reasons may be performed till the moment the fetus acquires the ability to independent life outside the organism of the pregnant woman, and for criminal reasons - if no more than 12 weeks have passed from the beginning of the pregnancy. Abortion for medical reason is permissible at any time.
A requirement that pregnancy termination for medical and eugenic reasons be performed in a hospital is an additional condition. Abortion for criminal reasons may be performed also in a private clinic. Circumstances of substantiated suspicion that pregnancy results from a prohibited act must always be confirmed by a prosecutor. In line with the Ordinance of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of January 22, 1997, abortion may only be terminated by a doctor who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology.
A doctor may refuse to participate or cooperate in pregnancy termination referring to the so-called conscience clause. The law on medical profession permits to refrain from rendering medical services inconsistent with his conscience (article 39). Such a right does not apply if a delay in assisting could result in death, serious injure of the body or heavy health disorder or in other cases of utmost urgency (article 30). Thus, the "conscience clause" does not apply only in the case of existence of medical indications to pregnancy termination. A doctor refusing pregnancy termination with reference to the "conscience clause" has the duty of presenting feasible possibilities of obtaining these services from another doctor or in another health care unit as well as substantiate and record this fact in medical documentation. A doctor performing his profession on the basis of an employment contract or within services has also the duty of reporting this fact in writing to his superior.
Woman's consent to perform abortion should be expressed in writing. In case of a minor or a woman with total legal incapacitation a written consent of her legal guardian is required. In case of a minor over 13, her written consent is also required. In case of a minor under 13, a family court must issue consent and the minor has the right to express her opinion. A totally incapacitated woman should also express her written consent, unless her psychical health condition does not permit to do so. If the legal guardian does not want to or cannot express the consent, a family court may do so in his place.
In article 153 of the Penal Code, the lawmaker makes punishable two cases of pregnancy termination against the will of the pregnant woman:
1) pregnancy termination with the use of violence against the pregnant woman or in other way without her consent, for example deceitfully,
2) forcing a pregnant woman to terminate her pregnancy by violence, illegal threat or deceit.
This criminal offence is punishable with imprisonment from 6 months to 8 years.
In a qualified type, specified (article 153 §2) in the Penal Code, the fact that the offense of the perpetrator was directed against the conceived child that attained the ability to independent life outside the mother's womb is a circumstance affecting a more severe penalty. Criminal offense of this type is threatened with imprisonment from 1 to 10 years.
The Penal Code also defines the types of the so-called offenses qualified by consequences, in which a more severe threat of penalty ( specified in articles 152-153) was made, dependent on the effects, such as the death of the pregnant woman (article 154).
The perpetrator will bear heavier responsibility, if (according to the rule of article 9 §3 of the Penal Code)- he anticipated or could anticipate the consequence of the death of the woman.
The law of July 8, 1999 introduced the new regulation of article 157a §1 to the Penal Code. Causing bodily harm to the conceived child or health disorder endangering its life is punishable with a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment from 1 month to 2 years. Health and development of the conceived child, independently of the environment - also "in vitro" is the subject of direct protection in this case. Everyone can be the perpetrator, including the mother of the conceived child, although she always benefits from the impunity clause (art. 157a §3). The illegality of the act specified in article 157a §1 of the Penal Code is lifted if the bodily harm and health disorder of the conceived child were a consequence of therapeutic actions implemented by a doctor, indispensable to remove the threat to health or life of the pregnant woman or the conceived child (art. 157a §2).
The participation of the conceived child in medical experiments is subject to special rigors and requires the preservation of conditions specified in Chapter 4 of the law of December 5, 1996 on the medical profession. The requirements are differentiated depending on whether a therapeutic experiment is aimed at achieving a direct benefit for the treated person or a scientific experiment aimed, most of all, at expanding the medical knowledge. The participation of the pregnant woman in a therapeutic experiment requires particularly thorough assessment of the related risk for the mother and the conceived child (art. 26 point 1). The law completely forbids research experiments on the conceived child (point 3). Pregnant women may only participate in such research experiments that are free of risk or contain slight risk (point 2). This way, the lawmaker completely prohibited research experiments on the conceived child growing in the natural as well as artificial environment. The participation of the pregnant woman was limited only to such undertakings that cannot have negative consequences for the conceived child. The violation of the sanctioned norms specified in article 26 points 2 and 3 of the law on medical profession may influence negatively the health and proper development of the conceived child and this way display the features of the criminal offence defined in (article 157a §1) the Penal Code.
3. Assessment of social and legal effects of the law
Reservations concerning the expected social effects were expressed in criminology letters after the lawmaker introduced the legal protection of life and health of the conceived child, and in particular the punishment of abortion for social reasons. The authors pointed to the fact that it may cause a threat to women's health, growth in the number of infanticides and cases of infant abandonment, emergence of the "abortion underground" and "abortion tourism". It was to result in a sharp growth in the number of sentences for offenses related to pregnancy termination and the legal regulations could be exploited as a form of blackmail or strives among persons in conflict.
From the day the law of January 7, 1993 became effective, not only state institutions but also non-governmental organizations had been collecting information on the social and legal effects. The years 1993-1999 are a sufficiently long period of time permitting to assess its functioning and to specify the size and dynamics of the phenomenon on which the legal and penal regulations introduced by the law had a direct influence. Annual (except for 1996) reports of the Council of Ministers on the implementation of the law of January 7, 1993 on family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of pregnancy termination were the most important source of this information. They were prepared on the basis of data from the Ministries of: Health and Social Welfare, Labor and Social Policy, Justice and National Education.
A considerable drop in the number of legal abortions was noted in the years 1993-1999 as compared to the previous years (see table 1). The total number of registered abortions for medical, eugenic and criminal reasons amounted to about 500-700 annually. There were 310 such cases in 1998 and 151 cases in 1999.
It should be noted that the number of abortions exceeded the figure of 100,000 annually in the period when the law of April 27, 1956 permitting pregnancy termination for social reasons was binding, up till 1988. A clear decline tendency appeared in the years preceding the introduction of the law of January 7, 1993: 59,417 cases in 1990, 30,878 in 1991 and 11,640 in 1992.
The prohibition on pregnancy termination for social reasons undoubtedly had a deciding impact on the decrease in the number of recorded abortions in the years 1993-1999, but it was not the only reason. A systematic drop in the total number of abortions could be observed from the mid 1980s. It was influenced by many factors, including a change in the model of the family, continuous fall in the number of births and the growth in the sale of contraceptives. The number of abortions dropped to 11,640 in the last year when pregnancy termination for social reasons was permitted. At present, there are no grounds to say that the downward trend is changing.
Not everything from the anticipated effects of the law of January 7, 1993 can be objectively verified because of the lack of proper statistical analysis. The attempt to estimate the "dark figure" of criminal cases of pregnancy termination is an enormously difficult task. On one hand, it is not possible to assume that the legal and penal prohibition prevented all women who decided to terminate pregnancy from doing so. On the other hand, it seems that estimates, which specify the number of illegal abortions at about 40-50 thousand or even over 60 thousand annually, are exaggerated. Such data is presented in materials of woman's (feminists) movements broadly advertised in mass media. However, the reliability of these materials is doubtful. The used methods of estimating the number of illegal abortions based on a sequence of unverifiable hypotheses do not support it. Here is one of them:
"The existence of at least 20 agencies [organizing "abortion tourism"] was stated on the basis of press advertisements. Assuming that each of these agencies organized an average of about 800 abortions annually we get an estimated number of 16,000 abortions performed annually to Polish women abroad. (Still quotation). The fact that a considerable number of women, especially from border regions, go to foreign clinics without the services of the agencies should also be taken into consideration. Our research shows that at least twice as many terminations are performed at private clinics in Poland than abroad. It gives an approximate number of 40,000-50,000 terminations annually".
Arguments presented in order to question information contained in governmental reports, and appearing even in parliamentary discussions, are also far from academic methods of conducting research.
Concerns dealing with the big number of illegal abortions are not confirmed by the available data. The number of children abandoned by mothers in hospitals has remained at a constant level and even decreased in the years 1996-1998.
1995 - 738
1996 - 803
1997 - 685
1998 - 594
1999 - 737
The number of miscarriages has also clearly decreased. Assuming that part of them is induced as a result of criminal acts, these data also confirm the thesis on the falling total number of illegal abortions.
1993 - 53,057
1994 - 46,970
1995 - 45,300
1996 - 45,054
1997 - 44,185
1998 - 43,959
1999 - 41,568
Also number of women's health complications in the period of pregnancy, delivery and labor has dropped.
The number of cases of pregnancy termination with the violation of law or against the will of the pregnant woman detected in the years 1993-1999 is relatively small (compare table 2).
Please note that a firm majority of the started proceedings was discontinued (59-80%) and a slight amount ended in court indictment (8-16%). Proceedings end in sentencing very rarely: 5 cases in 1994, 6 in 1995, two in 1997. In comparison, in the years 1948-1955, courts sentenced about 300-500 people annually for prohibited abortions and about 50-90 people after the liberalization of the conditions of pregnancy termination by the law of April 27, 1956.
Justified suspicion of causing the death of the conceived child with the consent of the pregnant woman was the subject of the majority of proceedings in the years 1994-1999, with only one case of causing bodily harm of the conceived child (compare table 3).
The above analysis proves that regulations guaranteeing the legal protection of the conceived child had a positive role in the 8 years that the law on family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of pregnancy termination was binding. In particular, the awareness that pregnancy termination is not only a simple medical intervention but also depravation of life of a human being was restored in the society.
Polish experiences of the recent years have also shown that legal protection is an indispensable - although not the only - element in the system of life and health protection of the conceived child.
The binding standards of conceived child protection are quite high in Poland. They are also based on strong foundations. It is the vision of the democratic state of law that protects the fundamental and alienable human rights in the entire period of his development - from conception to natural death.
Law of June 6, 1997 - Penal Code
Art. 152 §1. Who with the consent of the woman terminates her pregnancy with the violation of the provisions of the law is subject to imprisonment of up to 3 years.
§2 The same punishment applies to an individual who assists the pregnant woman in pregnancy termination with the violation of the provisions of the law or who compels her to do so.
§3 Who commits an act specified in §1 or §2, when the conceived child attained the ability to independent life outside the womb is subject to imprisonment from 6 months to 8 years.
Art. 153 §1 Who uses violence against pregnant woman or in other way without her consent terminates pregnancy or by violence, illegal threat or deceit makes the pregnant woman terminate her pregnancy is subject to imprisonment from 6 months to 8 years.
§2 Who commits an act specified in §1, when the conceived child attained the ability to independent life outside the womb, is subject to imprisonment from 1 to 10 years.
Art. 154 §1 If the act specified in art. 152 §1 or 2 results in the death of the pregnant woman, the perpetrator is subject to imprisonment from 1 to 10 years.
§2 If the act specified in art. 152 §3 or in art 153 results in the death of the pregnant woman, the perpetrator is subject to imprisonment from 2 to 12 years.
Art. 157a §1 Who causes bodily harm to the conceived child or health disorder threatening its life is subject to a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment of up to 2 years.
§2 A doctor does not commit a criminal offense, if the bodily harm or health disorder of the conceived child results from therapeutic activity indispensable to remove hazards threatening the health and life of the pregnant woman or the conceived child.
§3 The mother of the conceived child is not subject to penalty when commits the act specified in §1.
Law of January 7, 1993 on family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of pregnancy termination
Art 4a. 1. Pregnancy may be terminated exclusively by a doctor in cases when:
1) pregnancy constitutes a hazard to the life and health of the pregnant woman,
2) prenatal examination or other medical reasons point to the considerable probability of heavy and irreversible defect of the fetus or incurable disease threatening its life,
3) there is substantiated suspicion that the pregnancy results from a prohibited act.
Law of December 5, 1996 on the medical profession
Art. 26. 1. Participation of a pregnant woman in a medical experiment requires a particularly thorough assessment of the related risk for the mother and the conceived child.
2. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may participate exclusively in research experiments free of risk or associated only with a slight risk.
4.Conceived children, incapacitated persons, and soldiers of basic military service and imprisoned persons may not participate in research experiments.
Law of January 6, 2000 on Child Ombudsman
Art 2. 1. The law provides that every human being from conception to the attainment of legal age is considered as a child.