Slovakia to Vote on Law That Forces Women to See Photos of Embryos Before Abortion
'We believe this is a human rights issue, and it should be treated like a human rights issue', gender rights campaigner Paula Jojart said.
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Slovakia is considering a new law that will require women seeking an abortion to view pictures of their embryo and listen to their 'foetal heartbeat' before getting the process done.
The draft law, set to come to vote on Friday, would also ban advertising about abortion.
Abortion laws in Slovakia are relatively liberal compared to those in countries like Poland or Malta, which have among the strictest laws in the European Union and often allow them only in cases like rape. However, if passed, this would be the first such law in Europe.
Several organisations such as Amnesty International, International Campaign for Women‘s Right to Safe Abortion, Marie Stopes International, and Human Rights Watch, among others, signed an open letter in which they called the law "regressive".
“We believe this is a human rights issue, and it should be treated like a human rights issue,” said Paula Jojart, gender expert with campaign group Freedom of Choice, one of the organizers of a demonstration against the reforms in Bratislava.
“It should not be negotiated by the public polls or by public opinion,” Jojart told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from the Slovak capital.
The reforms, proposed by a center -right party in the ruling coalition, are the latest step in a campaign to tighten restrictions on abortion in Slovakia, where thousands of people marched in September to demand a total ban on abortion.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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