Right to Conscientious Objection to Abortion Burning Issue in Croatia

Total Croatia News


ZAGREB, March 27, 2019 – Health Minister Milan Kujundžić on Wednesday called for compliance with the legislation when it comes to honouring the right to conscientious objection concerning the issue of abortion, while at the same time that procedure should be made available.

“Anything that is in contravention with ethical and moral principles deserves condemnation,” Kujundžić said, and commenting on the case of a woman in Dubrovnik who underwent an abortion procedure without anaesthesia due to the anaesthesiologist’s refusal to participate in the procedure, the minister said that the hospital should have engaged other doctors in such cases when their colleagues invoke the conscientious objection clause which allows them to refuse to participate in the termination of pregnancy. . . [Full text]

When a doctor’s right to choose trumps a woman’s right to choose

In Italy, conscientious objectors make it difficult to have an abortion


Guilia Paravicini

On the books, abortion in Italy is legal. In practice, it is out of reach for many women.

An unprecedented wave of so-called conscientious objectors — doctors declining to perform abortions for personal or religious reasons — is sweeping the country. Today, 70 percent of Italian gynecologists and 48.4 percent of anesthesiologists decline to perform terminations, according to a report from the Italian health ministry presented in December.

In more conservative regions such as Sicily and Campania, as much as 84 percent of doctors object to abortion. That leaves a tiny group of abortion providers to deal with a huge demand for terminations. . . [Full text]


Assistant minister says issue of access to abortion resolved


Assistant Health Minister Dragan Korolija Marinic said at a thematic session of the parliament’s Gender Equality Committee on Thursday that the issue of access to abortion services in five medical institutions where the procedure was not performed because of doctors’ conscientious objection had been resolved and that the procedure was now available in all state hospitals.

The general hospitals in Nasice, Virovitica and Vinkovci have hired external gynecologists to perform such procedures, some of the gynecologists at the Knin General Hospital who previously cited a conscientious objection have changed their opinion, while Zagreb’s “Sveti duh” hospital has signed a contract with the “Sestre milosrdnice” hospital to perform abortions on request, said Korolija Marinic. . . . [Full Text]

Physicians in Croatia refusing to provide abortion

Sean Murphy*

It is reported that, of 27 licensed public hospitals in Croatia, five have stopped providing abortions because staff physicians are unwilling to perform them for reasons of conscience: Zagreb’s “Sveti duh” hospital, the general hospitals in Nasice, Vinkovci and Virovitica, and the general hospital in Knin.

There have been unsubstantiated accusations that some doctors in Zabok and Zagreb who claim a “conscientious objection” to performing abortions in public hospitals actually do provide them in illegally in private practice.  The accusation that some physicians who purport to be conscientious objectors in public hospitals will privately perform illegal abortions for payment has also been made in Italy.

Abortion activists insist that public hospitals should not employ physicians who object to abortion. [Hrvatsko Izdanje]



Code of Ethics for Midwives

Pursuant to Article 27 Midwifery Act

And Article 22 Statute of the Croatian Chamber of Midwives
Adopted 27 January, 2010

Several sections of the Croatian Code of Ethics for Midwives are relevant to the issue of freedom of conscience.  Theses are reproduced below in Croatian and English for the convenience of researchers.  For legal or other formal purposes, one should consult the original document and have it professionally translated. [Extracts from the Code]

Etički Kodeks Primalja

Na temelju članka 27. Zakona o primaljstvu (NN 120/08)

te članka 22,Statuta Hrvatske komore primalja

Nekoliko sekcije Hrvatskog Etičkog kodeksa primalja su relevantne za pitanje slobode savjesti. Teze su navedene u nastavku na hrvatskom i engleskom jeziku za praktičnost istraživača. Za pravne ili druge svečane svrhe, treba konzultirati izvorni dokument i to profesionalno prevodi. [Izvadci iz zakona]

Ostala bez posla u kninskoj bolnici: “Dali su mi otkaz jer nisam pristala sudjelovati u pobačaju”

Slobodna Dalmacija
3 August, 2013

Liječnici i medicinske sestre u Hrvatskoj mogu se pozvati na prigovor savjesti u situacijama kada ih njihova vjerska uvjerenja priječe da sudjeluju u medicinskim zahvatima protivnim postulatima vjere. Jedan od takvih zahvata je namjerni prekid trudnoće.

Na priziv savjesti, međutim, ne mogu se pozvati vjernice primalje. Makar se ne mogu pozvati u Općoj bolnici “Hrvatski ponos” u Kninu jer bi, poput Jage Stojak, mogle ostati bez posla.

‘Slomljene’ na razne načine

Jagi Stojak (49), naime, nakon 27 godina radnoga staža, od kojih je posljednjih 14 provela radeći kao primalja u kninskoj bolnici, na kućnu adresu u Kninu stigla je Odluka o redovitom otkazu ugovora o radu jer je 14. lipnja ove godine odbila prisustvovati zahvatu namjernog prekida trudnoće pozvavši se na priziv savjesti. -Nije to bio prvi i jedini put kad sam kao praktična vjernica, katolikinja, odbila sudjelovati u tom zahvatu. O tome se mnogo polemiziralo i sastančilo u bolnici jer je više primalja bilo istog uvjerenja. . . [Puni Tekst]

Midwife fired for refusing to assist in abortion

Hrvatski Ponos (Croatian Pride) Hospital,
Knin, Croatia

Lost her job in the Knin hospital: “They fired me because I would not participate in abortions”

Slobodna Dalmacija

Doctors and nurses in Croatia may call upon conscientious objection in situations when their religious beliefs prevent them from participating in medical procedures contrary to the postulates of their faith. One such situation is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy.

The conscientious objector, however, cannot be a midwife, at least not at the general hospital “Hrvatski Ponos (Croatian Pride)” in Knin because, like Jaga Stojak, they could lose their job.

Jaga Stojak (49), after 27 years of service, of which the last 14 was spent working as a midwife in the Knin hospital, received a dismissal of her contract on June 14 of this year, because she refused to participate in an abortion citing conscientious objection. “It was not the first time when I, as a practicing Catholic, refused to participate in that procedure. There have been many discussions and meetings at the hospital because there are more midwives who share the same opinion.” [Full Text- English; Croatian]

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