Dr. Gizela Jagielska, a gynecologist and the deputy director of the public hospital in Olesnica, Poland, looks into the incubator of a newborn, on July 28, 2023. The baby was born following a likely failed self-induced abortion, according to Dr. Jagielska. He was delivered at 21 weeks and abandoned at the hospital. He died within days. Credit: Kasia Strek / TIME

Krzysztof Sowinski has cried every day since his wife Marta, who was five months pregnant, died of sepsis in 2022; he believes doctors put Marta’s life in danger by not giving them the option to terminate the pregnancy while the fetus’ heart was still beating. Janusz Kucharski also lost his partner Justyna to sepsis in the fifth month of a pregnancy. She left behind two boys.

It is likely, reproductive-rights advocates say, that these women would be alive if not for Poland’s increasingly restrictive abortion laws. Abortion has been illegal in the country since 1993, but a 2020 ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, which went into effect the next year, removed one of the […]

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