Support for accessible, safe and legal termination of pregnancy in Croatia
Support to the requests of civil society organizations for accessible, safe and legal termination of pregnancy in Croatia
Issued by RODA in collaboration with 50 civil society organisations and institutions, open to public (individual) endorsement at www.roda.hr
Zagreb, May 6, 2022
In connection with the current case of denying a pregnant woman the right to termination of pregnancy despite medical indications due to terminal fetal illness incompatible with life, civil society organizations in the Republic of Croatia - different in their activities, but united in solidarity with all women who are denied healthcare - demand urgent Government action regarding our common requests, as follows:
- Urgently ensure an appropriate medical procedure for termination of pregnancy of Mirela Čavajda within and at the expense of the healthcare system of the Republic of Croatia and determine the responsibility and sanction those who are responsible for failures to provide timely and appropriate care. We demand from Minister Beroš and Prime Minister Plenković to publicly confirm that Mirela Čavajda will receive appropriate care at the expense of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, i.e. a safe and timely termination of pregnancy in accordance with modern medical methods and current international standards of medical profession, medical indication and the will of Mirela Čavajda.
- Ensure urgent adoption of guidelines and protocols for safe abortion in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
- Urgently publish complete data on the capacities of all healthcare institutions in the Republic of Croatia to provide healthcare in the field of reproductive health, and specifically termination of pregnancy services (available staff, specialist knowledge, technology, patient capacity, financial resources) and to establish a public register of health workers who have opted for objection of conscience that is regularly updated and available to all patients.
- Ensure that health workers and hospital committees comply with current laws on termination of pregnancy and investigate the responsibility of health workers who deny, provide inaccurate information on, and undermine access to termination of pregnancy upon request.
- Ensure access to medically safe and affordable abortion to all women in accordance with the legal framework, the cost of which is covered by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund, and by ensuring a sufficient number of medical teams capable to perform abortion in all health care institutions that are liable to provide this type of health care services and in order to prevent institutional appeal of conscience.
We remind you that this year Croatia is reporting to the UN Committee on Women's Rights (CEDAW), which has twice warned Croatia that it must provide women with access to abortion upon request and that abortion costs must be covered by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund. It is also important to note that international bodies have recognized such denial of health care as torture, and therefore it is necessary to take immediate steps to protect the life, health and dignity of every woman in Croatia, and finally regulate the disorder in the Croatian health system.