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Presidential candidates in Croatia express their views on abortion


Presidential elections will be held in Croatia on December 28th, 2014. Currently there are four candidates running for the office: Ivo Josipović, nominated by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) and running on a centre-left platform; Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, candidate of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) running on a centre-right platform; Milan Kujundžić, member of the right-wing populist Croatian Dawn (HZ) non-parliamentary party and Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, independent political activist. The candidates were invited by the current president Ivo Josipovic to state their position on abortion. Termination of pregnancy is available in Croatias without restrictions as to reason up to ten weeks of pregnancy for all women above 16 years of age.

The presidential candidate of the opposition Croatian Democratic Union, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović expressed her suport for pro-choice legislation: “I am for life, but I also respect the right of choice. I do not support banning abortion because it never brought any good to anyone anywhere. But I am in favour of positive measures such as education, psychological and other counselling that helps a woman get through that stressful situation and decide whether to keep her pregnancy or not. I also advocate de-stigmatising unmarried women who have given birth and de-stigmatising their children and facilitating the adoption procedure.” Milan Kujundžić said that his position on the issue of abortion was in line “with universal Christian values that promote preservation of life from conception to death”. He also expressed his support for proactive measures instead of introducing further restrictions. Running for a second term in office Ivo Josipović supported the use of doctors’ conscientious objection to performing abortions, while at the same time expressed his support for women’s free choice: “Abortion is not desirable, but this whole phenomenon should be considered from the aspect of the woman’s right to choose whether she wants to give birth or not. My position on this is completely clear. The present system, in which women can choose under specific circumstances, must stay. Conscientious objection by health workers should be respected, but the public health system must provide the service women need.”

Source: Dalje.com, here and here.

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