50 years after the former Yugoslavia protected abortion rights, that legacy is under threat

By Darko Bandic And Jovana Gec, The Associated Press
Mar 27, 2024

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — With vigils outside clinics, marches drawing thousands and groups of men kneeling to pray in public squares, religious and neo-conservative groups have been ramping up pressure to ban abortions in staunchly Catholic Croatia.

The fierce debate has fueled divisions in the European Union nation of about 3.9 million people where abortion remains legal but access to the procedure is often denied, sending many women to neighboring Slovenia to end a pregnancy.

The movement is in stark contrast to Croatia’s recent past, when it was part of the former Yugoslavia, a Communist-run country that protected abortion rights in its constitution 50 years ago.

Continued: https://halifax.citynews.ca/2024/03/27/50-years-after-the-former-yugoslavia-protected-abortion-rights-that-legacy-is-under-threat/


‘Shocked’: EU Parliament removes Women’s Day video featuring anti-abortion rally

Images of the Croatian protest were later edited out of an official Parliament video.

BY EDDY WAX
MARCH 9, 2023

BRUSSELS — The European Parliament removed a video it posted online to mark International Women’s Day Wednesday that contained images of a rally against abortion.

For a few seconds, the video showed an image of an anti-abortion protest in Croatia featuring a man holding a placard with the slogan: “Nine weeks from conception, it already sucks its thumb.”

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/shocked-eu-parliament-removes-womens-day-video-featuring-anti-abortion-rally/


U.S. Anti-Abortion Activists Are Spreading Clinic Protests Around the World

The Texas-based group 40 Days for Life has brought its aggressive tactics to more than 1,000 cities in 65 countries.

Jessica Bateman
January 9, 2023

There were four or five protesters outside Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, the first time Dr. Greg Irwin saw them. He was driving to his job as a consultant radiologist when he noticed the group hoisting placards opposite the parking lot, close to the maternity unit. BEFORE I FORMED YOU IN THE WOMB I KNEW YOU, one sign read, alongside a Bible reference. “Oh, my God,” Irwin thought. “It’s one of those American protests.”

After he parked in his usual spot, an older woman holding rosary beads smiled as he approached. “We’re holding a prayer vigil,” she explained, adding that they were offering “support and advice” to women. Irwin noticed their placards were branded with the logo of 40 Days for Life. When he googled the name later that night, he expected to find a local church organization. Instead, he discovered the shiny, high-budget website of a Texas-based group, emblazoned with pictures of men in sharp suits with dazzling white teeth. A counter in the corner ticked down the numbers of babies “saved” worldwide. Scrolling, he saw a map festooned with red pins, marking group locations all over the world. Irwin stared at his screen, bewildered. How could there be a connection between a group in Texas and the woman outside his hospital in Scotland?

Continued: https://newrepublic.com/article/169587/us-anti-abortion-activists-spreading-clinic-protests-around-world


Thousands rally in Croatia after woman denied abortion

Thousands have rallied across Croatia in solidarity with a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems

By The Associated Press
12 May 2022

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Thousands rallied across Croatia Thursday in solidarity with a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems, and whose weeks-long ordeal has sparked public outrage.

Protests demanding a better public health system and respect of women's right to choice were held in several cities and towns throughout the predominantly conservative and strongly Catholic nation.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/thousands-rally-croatia-woman-denied-abortion-84679046


Croatia: Mirela Čavajda: Rally in Support of Women Health Rights on Thursday 12th

By Jose Alfonso Cussianovich
9 May 2022

May 9, 2022 - Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman who requested an abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, had her request rejected by three hospitals in Zagreb. Donations from 1,472 citizens and 16 legal entities will cover Mirela's medical procedure that will take place in Slovenia.

The case of Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman whose request to have an abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor was rejected by three hospitals in Zagreb, has caused great outrage in the country, with demands for the reproductive rights and health rights of Croatian women to be respected.

Continued: https://www.total-croatia-news.com/lifestyle/62700-mirela-cavajda


Activists rally behind Croatian woman denied abortion

A group of civic activists in Croatia have demonstrated in support of a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems

By The Associated Press
6 May 2022

ZAGREB, Croatia -- A group of civic activists in Croatia demonstrated Friday in support of a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems.

The activists stood outside the parliament building in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, demanding that authorities help Miranda Cavajda and ensure abortion rights are respected in the socially conservative country.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/activists-rally-croatian-woman-denied-abortion-84539912


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.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/27/amid-stigma-in-croatia-volunteers-support-women-having-abortions


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.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/women-in-croatia-fear-further-erosion-of-long-held-abortion-rights-1.4572919


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.

26.12.2020
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.

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/is-croatia-going-the-way-of-poland-on-reproductive-rights/a-56044929


‘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.

Continued: https://balkaninsight.com/2020/12/01/brave-sisters-tackle-croatias-growing-stigma-over-abortion/