To our Esteemed colleagues of the Polish Parliament

Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir
3 min readOct 3, 2016


October 3rd 2016

Reykjavík, Iceland


Our Esteemed colleagues of the Polish Parliament,

The undersigned Members of Parliament of Iceland write this letter to voice our deep concern over a proposed law criminalizing all use of abortions in Poland. Access to appropriate prenatal care is essential for women’s rights in the world, whether it be prenatal screening or abortion. We appeal to the Polish Parliament to withdraw the proposed law from the legislative process and seek a compromise that better protects women’s rights to reproductive health.

We wish to remind the Polish Parliament of the shared international obligation and responsibility that both Iceland and Poland have undertaken to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. As signatories to the Convention on this important issue, both our countries have pledged to ensure that women have equal access to health care services, including those related to family planning. We seek to emphasize the value and importance of international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women for its important role in combating social issues such as gender inequality, poverty and health issues.

Finally, we would like to impart our view that access to safe abortions is an essential part of women´s right to physical and mental autonomy. Furthermore, we want to draw your attention to the ample evidence proving that restricting women’s health care has a negative impact on the welfare of entire families. In countries where access to women’s health services is restricted, outcomes for infant and maternal health are worse, including higher maternal and infant mortality rates. In cases where fatal birth defects are present, patients and doctors must be free to make the decision that saves the life of the mother.

In light of the above considerations, we strongly encourage you to withdraw this law from the parliamentary process and seek to find a legislative compromise that better protects women’s rights to reproductive health than the current proposal.


Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir, Member of Parliament

Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Minister of Industry and Commerce

Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Oddný Harðardóttir, Member of Parliament

Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, Member of Parliament

Guðmundur Steingrímsson, Member of Parliament

Björt Ólafsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Brynhildur Pétursdóttir, Member of Parliament

Ögmundur Jónasson, Member of Parliament

Jóhanna María Sigmundsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Member of Parliament

Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Member of Parliament

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Óttarr Proppé, Member of Parliament

Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Katrín Júlíusdóttir, Member of Parliament

Ólína Kjerúlf Þorvarðardóttir, Member of Parliament

Árni Páll Árnason, Member of Parliament

Elsa Lára Arnardóttir, Member of Parliament

Líneik Anna Sævarsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Karl Garðarsson, Member of Parliament

Páll Valur Björnsson, Member of Parliament

Steinunn Þóra Árnadóttir, Member of Parliament

Helgi Hjörvar, Member of Parliament

Róbert Marshall, Member of Parliament

Birgir Ármannsson, Member of Parliament

Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Member of Parliament

Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Kristján L. Möller, Member of Parliament

Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, Member of Parliament

Vilhjálmur Árnason, Member of Parliament

Valgerður Bjarnadóttir, Member of Parliament

Elín Hirst, Member of Parliament

With the provision that more signatories will be added on later today or early tomorrow.

This letter will formally be submitted to the Polish Ambassador tomorrow.



Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir

Historian, corgis, copyright, and censorship.