Why this story matters:
In Slovakia, it's neither doctors nor women who called for stricter abortion law. It's four men belonging to an extremist party who drafted a bill aiming to restrict access to abortion -- despite the fact that abortion rates are currently declining in the country.
The draft raised a passionate discussion on both sides. Many experts question the validity of the argument that restricting abortion will "save lives".
"Why don't they donate their liver to someone? They can save a life by doing that, too," says gynecologist Denisa Marcišová. "No one is forcing Kotleba [leader of the extremist party] into donating his liver, so why should anyone force me to provide my uterus?"
Kotleba's party considers the fertility of Slovak women as a national treasure that can solve the demographic crisis. Instead of opening the borders for migrants wishing to come to Slovakia, they obsess over "selfish" Slovak women who do not want to bear more children -- an attitude troublingly similar to The Handmaid's Tale...
Details from the story:
- The vote on the draft bill is set to take place in June.
- The current abortion rate is the lowest in Slovak history. Most abortions were carried out in the 1980s and 1990s.
- The current law enables woman to have an abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. She can also have an abortion when in risk of her life, health or in case of fetal defects up to 24 weeks.
- Gynecologist Jozef Záhumenský says that restrictions cannot lower the number of abortions: "Quality sex ed and affordable contraception are the main method for preventing abortions."