Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude

Conscientious Objection "an infringement of. . . rights"

United Nations committee attacks freedom of conscience

12 August, 1997


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." [Administrator]

United Nations Report
of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
(Eighteenth and nineteenth sessions)

General Assembly Official Records
Fifty-third session
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.

Page 21

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.

[Original Document]