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Constitutional court to review the law on abortion in Croatia


The president of Croatia’s constitutional court, Jasna Omejec, announced the start of a constitutional review of the law on medical measures, which allow abortion until the 10th week of pregnancy. The review will most likely happen by June 2016.

The proposal of the Croatian Movement for Life and Family was filed 24 years ago, to institute proceedings to review the constitutionality of the law which allows abortion. The founder of this socially conservative Christian NGO, Ruzica Cavar, “thanked God for the willingness of the constitutional court to deal with the issue. I almost lost all hope, after more than 20 years when nothing was happening. The only thing the court did until now was to send an inquiry to a team of medical experts in 2009,” she said. According to her, the experts had agreed that “life begins with conception”, which she said worked in favour of her application. Legalized abortion was “unjust from a number of perspectives”, she said, as it breached article 21 of the constitution, which says that “every human being has a right to life”.

Only recently the President of HDZ’s Health Committee and the leading candidate for new Croatian health minister Ante ĆoruÅ¡ić talked about abortion at a radio broadcast claiming that “human life begins when male and female gametes combine. Abortion is an agreed form of violent interruption of human life. That is the only truth. However, absolute prohibition is out of the question.” Speaking in some earlier interviews, ĆoruÅ¡ić said that he liked the Polish model where abortion is legal with considerable limitations stipulated by law. “We will definitely change the law on abortion from 1978. Modern Croatia must not and cannot be subject to a law adopted during the totalitarian regime. We will give women a week to once again think about their decision, with the help of experts, gynaecologists and psychologists”, ĆoruÅ¡ić said.

Croatia, mainly Catholic country, inherited the law of 1978 from communist Yugoslavia. According to the World Health Organization, there were 85 abortions for every 1,000 births in Croatia in 2012, compared to an EU average of 216.

Sources: Total Croatia News, Total Croatian News, Balkan Insight

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