Access to abortions needed for Ukrainian refugees in Poland - UNHCR

Women who have fled to Poland to escape war must have access to reproductive rights that meet international standards, including abortions, a top UNHCR official said on Friday, amid reports of rape and sexual violence in Ukraine.

Poland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, and human rights activists have raised concerns about the difficulties victims of rape from Ukraine fleeing to the country may face if they need to terminate a pregnancy.

"There are particular policies (regarding reproductive services in Poland) that we believe do not meet international standards," assistant high commissioner for protection Gillian Triggs told a news briefing.

"(Victims of sexual violence) need counseling and they need assistance. In some cases they will need abortions. We will raise this ... with the government," she said.

She said that the UNHCR would work with those who needed an abortion to make sure that they got them in Poland or elsewhere.

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