United Nations Committee:
Conscientious Objection "an infringement of. . . rights"
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women is an international convention that is being implemented
in many countries. A United Nations committee reports periodically on
the implementation of the report. The following extract from a report
dated February, 1998, asserts that conscientious objection by doctors in
Croatia is "an infringement of women's reproductive rights."
United Nations Report
of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
(Eighteenth and nineteenth sessions)
General Assembly Official Records
Supplement No. 38 (A/53/38/Rev.1)
12 August, 1997
. . . Page 20 (Croatia)
109. In the area of health, the Committee is
particularly concerned that services pertaining to women's reproductive
health are the first to be affected as a result of the Government's
financial constraints. It is also concerned about
information regarding the refusal, by some hospitals, to provide abortions
on the basis of conscientious objection of doctors. The Committee considers
this to be an infringement of women's reproductive rights.
117. The Committee strongly recommends that the
Government take steps to secure the enjoyment by women of their reproductive
rights by, inter alia, guaranteeing them access to abortion services
in public hospitals. It is suggested that the Government examine fully the
implications for women, in particular, of funding cuts for contraceptives
and that it implement strategies to address any detrimental impact on women.