Slovakian President Signs Abortion Informed Consent Law

BRATISLAVA, August 25, 2009 ( - President Ivan Gašparovic signed into law on Tuesday an amendment to Slovakia's abortion act that establishes mandatory counselling, requires a 2-day wait, and increases the age until which parental consent is required from 16 to 18.

The amendment was adopted by the Slovak Parliament in June and it will now come into effect in September.

International abortion groups' pressure, coordinated by the US based pro-abortion network "Center for Reproductive Rights," called for rejection of the amendment, claiming that it was "in conflict with women's rights to privacy, physical integrity and autonomy, confidentiality, health, and non- discrimination."

A letter signed by 19 pro-abortion organizations and networks and 7 individuals was sent to all Slovak policy makers, quoting the World Health Organization: "Parental notification or authorization is considered a requirement that deters women from seeking timely care and may lead them to risk self-induced abortion or clandestine services," and also quoting the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

A couple of days before the vote, however, more than 80 organizations and 53 individuals from all over the world, alerted by the Familiokratos Coalition, complimented all Slovak policy makers, pointing out that, "As many as 85 % of women surveyed feel that they were misinformed or denied relevant information during their pre-abortion counseling."

"While international abortion groups seek to put pressure on this Parliament to restrict a woman's choice, it is paramount that abortion is not a human right under European law and that individual States have the sole authority to determine the protections they wish to afford to life and to women's health," they said.

The amendment was adopted by 87 Members of Parliament voting for and only 7 against.

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