Abortion Without Borders, the largest provider of abortions in Poland, expands to include three new organisations. In December 2019, six organisations announced that they were launching an initiative aimed at helping people in Poland get abortions, Abortion Without Borders (AWB). Three and a half years later, AWB has helped more than 100,000 people in abortions get abortions, and the calls, texts and emails keep coming. Today AWB announced the expansion of its initiative with the addition of three more organisations: Ciocia Wienia, Ciocia Czesia, and Supporting Abortions for Everyone (SAFE).
While Abortion Without Borders was initially launched to help people living in Poland access abortions, the groups in AWB help people from across Europe and, in some cases, from around the world. AWB organisations hold the same values, the first of which that access to abortion should not depend on someone’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, immigration status spoken language, country of origin, marital status or political believes. We help people get abortions – full stop.
Natalia Broniarczyk, Abortion Dream Team, said: “When the state and formal healthcare systems fail to provide basic healthcare, abortion and true reproductive justice only happens due to the efforts of grassroots activists groups close to the women and pregnant people who need help. Helping people get abortions is an act of sisterhood and solidarity, and it can sometimes take a village to arrange an abortion. We are delighted to add Ciocia Wienia, Ciocia Czesia, and Supporting Abortions for Everyone to Abortion Without Borders. The more people who do this work, the better.”
Ciocia Czesia said: “We started our collective in direct response to Poland’s 2020 constitutional ruling, which further restricted Poland’s already inhumane law. When the ruling happened we knew we turned our shock into action and decided to create a helpline for people to reach out to where everyone is treated with love, kindness and respect for their decisions. We’ve helped thousands of our Polish compatriots travel to Czech Republic to have abortions – on request up to 12 weeks and up to 24 weeks in case of a foetal abnormality. We have been working informally with Abortion Without Borders since we began and are thrilled to be an official part of this movement of feminists fighting unfair laws, abortion stigma and other obstacles to get people abortions.”
Ciocia Wienia said: “We are an informal group of feminist activists who are deeply committed to supporting people from Poland and other places where abortion is difficult or impossible. In Austria abortion on demand is available up to 14 weeks, and our joining of Abortion Without Borders enables us to provide even more help to the people who contact us. At the same time, the situation in Austria adds an additional service to what Abortion Without Borders can offer, which is access to anonymous birth and adoption. Having to travel for an abortion can be stressful – and we are all here to help people have the abortions they want or need, without judgement.”
Mara Clarke (SAFE) said: “SAFE launched earlier this year in response to the needs of activists on the ground. We will not have a helpline for people who seek abortions. Instead, we will support our sibling activists with capacity building, sharing expertise, resources and funding that they need to do this work in a way that is both successful, sustainable and, like our name says, safe. For as long as Abortion Without Borders and any other emerging groups are needed to provide the abortion care that the state will not, SAFE will be here to make sure that money and resources exist to help them.”
Today’s announcement is being made from Warsaw, days after the Abortion Without Border’s #AbortionPatrol tour of Poland. Activists from Abortion Without Borders have been travelling from town to town, educating people about safe abortion with pills and trying to bust abortion stigma. The public reaction to this tour is proof that much more work is needed to bring safe, accessible abortion to everyone in Poland who needs it.
Natalia Broniarczyk, Abortion Dream Team: “Abortion Without Borders believes that the only person with the right to decide to continue or end a pregnancy is the person who is pregnant. We will help people overcome the obstacles that anti-choice governments, healthcare providers and others put in the way of people who want abortions. This expansion will help Abortion Without Borders reach even more people and provide organised solidarity and radical compassion. We welcome these new groups – we are stronger together!”
About Abortion Without Borders
Abortion Without Borders will help as many people as we can with information, practical support, creative problem solving, and, where required and available, with funding. Abortion Without Borders believes that getting an abortion shouldn’t depend on where someone is born and what passport they carry. Abortion Without Borders welcomes anyone who is for safe, legal, accessible abortion, regardless of age, gender, faith or nationality. Until everyone who needs an abortion can get one locally, we will be here.