27 Jul 2018

Dial A for Abortion 

Croatia may be world's second best country when it comes to football, but it didn't score as well in the Abortion World Cup. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Dial A for Abortion  - NewsMavens
Hospital bed. Pixabay

Why this story matters:

Who would you rather cheer for at the Abortion World Cup -- France or Croatia? And who would you like to see win? If the tweet below doesn't convince you, I can help you decide.  

Conscientious objection to abortion is common among Croatian doctors. Abortion is legal, but doctors have the right to "object" and some hospitals refuse to perform them.

In Split, the second biggest Croatian city, none of the doctors of a public hospital were willing to confirm an abortion appointment when called anonymously by female reporters, Croatian media reported in April this year.

But when reporters called again and said they were reporters collecting data for a story, some doctors suddenly changed their mind. The same happened with hospitals in the capital of Zagreb, and smaller cities of Vinkovci and Požega. 

Try Googling 'pobačaj' (''abortion' in Croatian) and one of the first results you'll get is 'Klinika za pobačaje' (in English: Clinic for abortions). The page is, in fact, exactly the opposite of what you would hope for -- a campaign against abortions from a pro-life association. Its arguments, posted on the page, are that abortions cause -- among other horrifying health problems -- breast cancer, sexual dysfunction, alcoholism and drug addictions. 

Do you still have any doubt who to cheer for?

Details from the story:

  • A social media campaign called 'Abortion World Cup' featured infographics about legislation regulating abortion in countries that have participated in this year's World Football Cup. 
  • It was aimed to educate social media users about the gaps in provision of reproductive rights in countries around the world. 
  • The campaign was designed by 'Alliance for Choice,' an activist organization that campaigns for abortion rights in Northern Ireland. 
  • Officially, numbers of abortions in Croatia are low. In 1980, there were 701 abortions per 1,000 live births. In 2014, there were 76 abortions per 1,000 live births. 
  • But, according to media reports, many doctors operate in the "grey market" and perform the procedures in their private clinics. 
  • In some European countries (such as Sweden and Czech Republic), the principle of 'conscientious objection' in healthcare is not recognized by the law. Their argument is that doctors are first and foremost obliged to protect the rights of their patients.
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