Abortion in the Republic of Macedonia

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Abortion in the Republic of Macedonia is legal on request during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After ten weeks, it is permitted in cases where the woman's health or life is in danger, when the child is expected to have severe defects, when the pregnancy results from a crime, or the woman's health is affected by difficult circumstances. Since a controversial 2013 anti-abortion law, several restrictions are in place, making access to abortion more difficult. Abortions can only be performed by an obstetrician-gynecologist in a health organization that meets certain minimum standards.

The 1977 law regulating abortion, enacted when the Republic of Macedonia was part of Yugoslavia, was not significantly altered until 2013.[1]

At its peak in 1986, the abortion rate in the Republic of Macedonia was 70.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44; the rate fell after independence, to 28.5 by 1996.[1] As of 2010, the abortion rate was 11.1 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44.[2]

The 2013 Law on Termination of Pregnancy

Between 2005-2016, Macedonia was strongly dominated by conservative political forces, which promoted traditional values.[3] A strong anti-abortion movement developed, which culminated with a new anti-abortion law in 2013. The government of Macedonia, backed by the Macedonian Orthodox Church, has also conducted advertising campaigns against abortion, aimed at increasing the country's birth rate.[4] Although abortion is still permitted, access has been restricted. In 2013, the Parliament passed the law, just 20 days after it had received the first draft. Although some changes from the original harsh draft of the law were made, due to opposition from the public and NGOs, several restrictions remained – restrictions which complicate the access to abortion.[5][6] The new law enacted includes: mandatory filing of a written request for the termination of unwanted pregnancy by the woman to the appropriate health institution, mandatory counseling about the potential advantages of continuing the pregnancy, as well as about the health risks for the woman from undergoing an abortion, and a mandatory waiting period of three days after counseling before medical intervention is conducted to terminate the pregnancy.[7] The original form of the law also stipulated that the woman's partner had to be informed about the abortion – a provision which drew severe opposition and was consequently withdrawn.[8] The law, as well as the anti-abortion campaigns, have been criticized as stigmatizing women and being contrary to women's rights.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b "TFYR of Macedonia". Abortion Policies: A Global Review (DOC). Country Profiles. United Nations Population Division. 2002. pp. 127–9. OCLC 48213121. Archived from the original on 11 January 2005.
  2. ^ "World Abortion Policies 2013". United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  3. ^ https://whogoverns.eu/1830-2/
  4. ^ "Macedonia: State anti-abortion ad faces criticism". Associated Press. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  5. ^ http://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/strategic_framework_macedonia.pdf
  6. ^ https://hera.org.mk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ana-M-Kajevska-Abortus-Ukinuvanje-na-demokratijata_ENG.pdf
  7. ^ http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/MKD/INT_CCPR_ICO_MKD_17688_E.docx.
  8. ^ http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/womens-rights-in-macedonia/
  9. ^ http://www.ippfen.org/news/new-abortion-law-macedonia-hurts-women-and-girls


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