Officially, Croatian women can exercise the right to abortion liberally. But Croatia is a country with an active anti-abortion movement where, under pressure from the Church, few doctors are willing to implement the law. According to a study by the private television company RTL, six out of ten gynaecologists refuse to do abortions and five of the country’s 27 public hospitals also refuse. Then there are so-called prayer groups (like in the USA, says the … Continued
The cost of an abortion in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) is two times lower than in Croatia. More women from Croatia are consequently deciding to have an abortion in BiH. Even though doctors can claim conscientious objection in both countries, the situation in Croatia is worse as public pressure to refrain from abortion is higher there. The problem in Croatia is worst for women from smaller towns and villages who may find that no one … Continued
Ivana Nincevic Lesandric, member of Parliament from the centre-right MOST party shared a personal story in Parliament of having had an abortion after a miscarriage in a Croatian hospital, which revived a public debate on the state of women’s health care. She said doctors had tied her hands and legs before doing an extremely painful curettage to remove tissue from her uterus without anesthesia. She said the conditions were “from the 15th century” and the … Continued
On 28 September, the Croatian Platform for Reproductive Rights demanded, loud and clear, not just safe and legal, but widely available and free abortion. Reproductive rights acknowledge the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy but also to plan to become a parent.
The Center for Education, Counseling and Research (CESI), a feminist organization working for gender equality, and the Initiative of Pro-Choice Doctors organized a public debate on 9 May entitled “Abortion law for the 21st century”, in order to emphasize that abortion should be legal, safe and accessible to all women. Croatian MEP Biljanja Borzan organised visit of members of the Socialists & Democrats group and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Mission … Continued
The Constitutional Court of Croatia reaffirmed the constitutionality of access to abortion on 2 March 2017. The decision rejects claims made by conservative groups and individuals that allowing women access to abortion on request was unconstitutional. In its decision, the Court reaffirmed that women’s access to abortion is protected under their constitutional rights to liberty, personality, and privacy. The Center for Reproductive Rights and the Center for Education, Counselling and Research submitted amicus briefs … Continued
If a woman searches the internet in Croatia for an abortion clinic the first clinic listed on Google appears to be offering information to women, but klinikazapobacaje.com is actually part of a nationwide campaign aimed at discouraging women from terminating their pregnancies. Unlike in France, in response to a complaint about the website by the ombudsperson for gender equality, Višnja Ljubičić, the interior ministry said in early 2016 that it had found no criminal wrongdoing.
The new president of Croatia’s Constitutional Court has started a process to assess whether the law which has allowed abortion since 1978 is constitutional. Miroslav Šeparović, president of the Court since June 2016, started with a meeting that analysed documentary materials and plans to consider the opinions of medical experts, specialists in family law, international documents, the practice of European courts, and various non-governmental organisations.
In January 2016 the Constitutional Court announced the start of a review of the Croatian abortion law, which currently allows abortion until the 10th week of pregnancy. Masenjka Bacic, Balkan Fellow for Journalistic Excellence, investigates access to abortions in the country.
Women’s rights activists were attacked by anti-choice marchers and arrested by police in Croatia for protesting an anti-abortion march through Zagreb.