P., a 14-years-old adolescent, was raped by a classmate. P. and her mother S. reported the rape to the police the next day. Even though P. was referred to a health clinic for examination, she was not offered emergency contraception. Several weeks later, she found out she was pregnant and decided to end the pregnancy. Although P. was legally entitled to an abortion under Polish law, which allows abortion in cases of rape, she was repeatedly and continuously denied timely and professional medical attention. P. obtained a prosecutor’s certificate stating that her pregnancy was the result of a crime and attesting that she was entitled to an abortion. Supported by her mother, P. visited three different hospitals, receiving deliberately distorted information about the requirements for obtaining an abortion. One of the hospitals disclosed P’s personal and medical data to the press and the general public. She and her mother were manipulated and harassed by doctors, anti-abortion groups, and representatives of the Catholic Church. Doctors refused to provide her care with reference to personal conscience but failed to refer P to another doctor or hospital. Hospital staff, a priest and the police attempted to manipulate the relationship between P and her mother, asserting that the mother tried to coerce P into having an abortion. As a result, P. was subsequently removed from her mother’s custody. At the end, with the intervention of the Ministry of Health, P. was able to get an abortion just a few days before the 12th week of gestation, which is the relevant gestational limit. Although the abortion was legal, the hospital refused to register P. as a patient and it was done in a clandestine manner.

P. and S. brought a complaint before the Court, arguing that the treatment P. had endured violated her right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 3), right to respect for private life (Article 8), and right to protection against arbitrary deprivation of liberty (Article 5) of the European Convention on Human Rights.