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]



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]