Amid stigma in Croatia, volunteers support women having abortions

While terminating a pregnancy is legal in Croatia, access to abortion is becoming increasingly challenging.

By Amanda Coakley
27 May 2021

Zagreb, Croatia – Zorana did not expect the call to come so soon.

Two weeks earlier, she had signed up online to be a Brave Sister and was still considering the level of involvement she wanted with the new initiative.

The mother-of-two was keen to help, but was nervous about the social implications of being associated with such a group.


Women in Croatia fear further erosion of long-held abortion rights

Pro-choice activists fear mandatory counselling may be added to abortion law

Sun, May 23, 2021
Amanda Coakley in Zagreb

In August, Karla, a 37-year-old mother of two, found herself in a worrisome situation. She was pregnant and was struggling to find a licensed clinic to perform a medical abortion in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.

According to her doctor she had been one of the small percentage of women for whom the morning-after pill was ineffective. One private clinic told her it could only do a surgical abortion due to the coronavirus pandemic. A public hospital told her doctor its internal politics wouldn’t allow the procedure to be performed.


Is Croatia going the way of Poland on reproductive rights?

In Croatia, lawmakers and activists have been debating abortion legislation for three decades. The church, conservative politicians and pro-life activists now want to see rules tightened as they have been in Poland.

Author Siniša Bogdanić, Davor Batisweiler

Since 1991, when Yugoslavia fell apart and
Croatia became an independent state, conservative elements in the country have
been trying to overturn the liberal abortion law introduced in the communist
era. This legislation from 1978 allows Croatian women to have an abortion up to
the 10th week of pregnancy without having to give reasons or fulfill any
additional conditions. That is the theory. In practice, however, implementing
the law has been somewhat tricky, as it was amended in 2003 to give doctors the
right to refuse the operation on grounds of conscience.


‘Brave Sisters’ Tackle Croatia’s Growing Stigma Over Abortion

As women in Croatia encounter even greater difficulties in obtaining access to terminations of pregnancy, feminists are launching a new project to help them exercise what often seems a disappearing right.

Anja Vladisavljevic, Zagreb
December 1, 2020

Women’s rights activists in Croatia have been warning for years that, while legal, abortion is becoming less and less available in the mainly Catholic country.

“The opponents of abortion will stop at nothing,” Nada Peratovic, a lawyer and women’s rights activist, told BIRN.


Humanists International joins 354 NGOs calling for an end to barriers to abortion access


On 28 September, in honour of International Safe Abortion Day, Humanists International co-sponsored a joint statement at the UN on ongoing threats to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in light of COVID-19.

The statement was delivered during the General Debate of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council and was supported and signed by a total of 354 organizations and 643 individuals.

States are ignoring their duties to ensure abortion access during COVID-19


Croatia’s MP candidates oppose the right to abortion even for rape victims

July 06th, 2020
by: Katarina Panić

The right to abortion become one of the top issues during the campaign that precedes the parliamentary election in Croatia, scheduled for July 5. Abortion is legal up to the tenth week in the youngest EU member state. Yet, it is less available because of the cost, the social stigma and medical staff's right to refuse to provide them over the reasons of conscience.

Croatia's Constitutional Court ruled three years ago that abortion cannot be prohibited by law. Now, some rightists offer a solution for that as well – to abolish the Constitutional Court if it guarantees the right to abortion, including even raped women.


Croatian women show the middle finger to abortion remarks

Croatian women show the middle finger to abortion remarks

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring
24 June 2020

Croatian politicians were left in no doubt about the strength of feeling on the subject of abortion in the country, after remarks in pre-election debates prompted a backlash visualised by perhaps the most defiant gestures of all - the middle finger.

Miroslav Skoro of the Homeland Movement and Goran Jandrokovic of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union, both right-of-centre political forces, agreed on the issue in a TV programme ahead of the parliamentary election in July.


Croatia ex-president gives middle finger to anti-abortion politicians

Croatia ex-president gives middle finger to anti-abortion politicians

June 20, 2020

ZAGREB: Croatia´s female ex-president on Friday became the latest woman to give the middle finger to several conservative politicians for their anti-abortion statements during campaigning for next month´s parliamentary election.

Many Croatian actresses, journalists and other female public figures have taken part in the campaign which has seen women posting pictures on social media of themselves symbolically raising their middle fingers.


Election Campaigners’ Attacks on Abortion Draw Condemnation in Croatia

Election Campaigners’ Attacks on Abortion Draw Condemnation in Croatia
Responding to condemnations of abortion in the election campaign, women’s rights activists and a government minister have called them “unacceptable” and “barbaric”.

Anja Vladisavljevic, Zagreb
June 18, 2020

Strong condemnations of abortion – even when accessed by rape victims – by candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for July 5 have drawn an angry reaction from supporters of women’s right to choose.

In a video debate on Wednesday, organised by the daily Vecernji list, Goran Jandrokovic, from the ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, and the nationalist singer Miroslav Skoro, leader of the new right-wing Homeland Movement, expressed hostile views to all abortions – both agreeing that “life begins with conception”.


Croatia – Opposition Seeks Inquiry Commission for Organisations That Dissuade Women from Abortion

Opposition Seeks Inquiry Commission for Organisations That Dissuade Women from Abortion

21 February 2020

ZAGREB, February 21, 2020 - Twenty-two MPs on Friday tabled a proposal to set up an inquiry commission into the financing, work and influence of organisations which consult pregnant women in Croatia in order to prevent quackery and disinformation about abortion.

Independent MP Bojan Glavašević, Sabina Glasovac (SDP) and Vesna Pusić (GLAS) told the press that according to reports in Croatian and foreign media, so-called pregnancy crisis centres were spreading in Europe and Croatia as part of a global coordinated project aimed at disinforming women about their reproductive rights and health as well as introducing additional obstacles to abortion.