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.


France – ”No objection” from the ethics council to extending the legal deadline for abortion

"There is little, if any, difference in risk for women having an abortion between 12 and 14 weeks of pregnancy", according to the national ethics advisory committee.


Will the period of access to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) be reduced from 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy in France?

Before a review of the text in the Senate in January, the ethics committee - seized by the government after the approval of this reform by the deputies - said that "there is no ethical objection" to this .


As Polish abortion laws tighten women fear an impossible choice

Her baby could not possibly survive. Still they decided she should have it

Kasia Strek, Warsaw | Peter Conradi

Saturday November 07 2020

Sitting on a hard plastic seat in the corridor of the Bielanski Hospital in
north Warsaw last week, waiting for her abortion pill to take effect,
Malgorzata quietly recounted her struggle to get a termination for a foetal
abnomality in a country bitterly divided over the sanctity of unborn life.

While huge crowds have been on the streets to oppose a hardening of Poland’s already
strict abortion laws, Malgorzata has had to travel from hospital to hospital to
find one willing to help her.

It was six weeks ago, during the 12th week of her pregnancy, that the
34-year-old businesswoman learnt there was something wrong with the baby she
was carrying: it was too small, did not move much and there was an abnormality
in the jawbone.


Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed

Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed
Don’t Manipulate Pandemic to Endanger Women, Adolescents

April 14, 2020
Human Rights Watch

(London) – Poland’s Parliament will consider regressive legislation this week that would restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights and put the lives and well-being of women and adolescents at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The legislation is scheduled for reading on April 15 or 16, 2020 as the country remains under a COVID-19-related state of emergency that bans group gatherings.

The bills under consideration were originally introduced in March 2018 and October 2019, and have since been stalled or not moved forward under the Parliament elected in November 2019. Both were met by street protests.


Canada – Medical schools should deny applicants who object to provide abortion, assisted death: bioethicist

Medical schools should deny applicants who object to provide abortion, assisted death: bioethicist

By Rachel Browne Global News
Posted November 23, 2019

A bioethicist is calling for medical schools to eliminate applicants who would oppose providing medical services over objections to them based on their personal beliefs.

The call from Udo Schuklenk, a Queen’s University professor and the Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics, comes as the Alberta government grappled with a controversial bill that would have allowed health-care providers to refuse to provide medical care if they object to it on religious or moral grounds.


RÉUNION/FRANCE – Proposal to include the right to abortion in the Constitution of France

RÉUNION/FRANCE – Proposal to include the right to abortion in the Constitution of France

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 7, 2019

The island of Réunion, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, is still a territory of France. Now, 50 members of the French National Assembly, including three from Réunion, have proposed that the right to abortion should be included in the French Constitution.

The French abortion law, the Veil Law, dates back to 1975, passed under Health Minister Simone Veil. Among the reasons that may hinder access to legal abortions today, however, despite this law, is the use of the conscience clause. In France, there is a general clause allowing “conscience” for all types of medical treatment, and a specific clause related to abortion. Feminist groups defending abortion rights have regularly called for the removal of the conscience clause for physicians in relation to abortion. On 26 June 2019, Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men, described their demand as “legitimate” in a speech to the delegation for women’s rights of the National Assembly. She reported that committee had been set up in mid-June to determine what the “necessary legislative changes” should be as regards access to abortion. She stressed that it was important to allow time for this, in order to “involve all stakeholders”, according to Ouest-France.


The Abortion Exodus – more Poles and Croats going abroad

The Abortion Exodus - more Poles and Croats going abroad

By Michael Bird, Lina Vdovii and Blaz Zgaga
BRUSSELS, 16. Jul, 2019

"The fact that I had to terminate the second pregnancy was terribly sad," said Warsaw-based Anna, now 39.

She was in her tenth week, and her doctors advised her to take a test to check for chromosomal abnormality, which discovered Down's Syndrome.


Right to abortion: Minister to take Brussels Declaration to UN

Right to abortion: Minister to take Brussels Declaration to UN

Friday, 15 February 2019

The Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Rudy Demotte, is due from 10 to 14 March to go to New York.

The trip is with a view to taking the Brussels Declaration, which in particular is calling for legalizing abortion (in French-speaking Belgium called IVG), at the 63rd UN Commission on the Status of Women, said his department on Thursday.


Draft abortion law ‘could face freedom of conscience case’

Draft abortion law 'could face freedom of conscience case'

Updated / Sunday, 14 Oct 2018
By Joe Little, Religious & Social Affairs Correspondent

A leading member of the Medico-Legal Alliance has hinted that the country's draft abortion law may face a legal challenge similar to the Asher's Bakery freedom of conscience case.

Senior Counsel Ben Ó Floinn said it would be regrettable if such a challenge became necessary in order to secure a wide-ranging freedom of conscience for doctors who will not provide terminations.


Ireland – Doctors should not be forced to ‘aid and abet’ abortions, says John Bruton

Doctors should not be forced to ‘aid and abet’ abortions, says John Bruton
Former taoiseach believes asking physicians who oppose terminations to refer patients is unnecessary

Sep 8, 2018
Colin Gleeson

Former taoiseach John Bruton has said doctors opposed to abortion should not be forced to refer women seeking terminations to other physicians.

Mr Bruton, in a speech to the Pro Life Education dinner in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin, on Saturday night, said he feared anti-abortion doctors would be “targeted” by those who wanted to “catch them out”.