Slovakia rejects regressive abortion law

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Photo by Henadzi Pechan/Shutterstock.com

Slovakia narrowly defeated a bill on Thursday that would have forced women seeking an abortion to see images of their unborn child - and hear its heartbeat - in the country’s sixth vote on reproductive rights this year, Amnesty.org reports.

Photo by Henadzi Pechan/Shutterstock.com

The legislation in overwhelmingly Catholic Slovakia would have been the first of its kind in the European Union, raising fears among human rights organizations of setting a precedent in nations pursuing a conservative social agenda.

“Had it been adopted, this legislation would set a chilling precedent for Europe, severely obstructing women’s access to safe abortion care and violating Slovakia’s international human rights obligations. It would have undermined women’s privacy and autonomy and subjected them to harmful stigma, humiliation and degrading treatment,” Amnesty’s Senior Campaigner on Women’s Rights, Monica Costa Riba, said.

There are 150 MPs in the Slovak Parliament. Fifty-nine MPs voted in favor, which did not meet requirement for a simple majority of 76 votes. An opinion poll in September said 55.5% of people disagreed with restricting abortions, while 34.6% supported the move, Amnesty.org noted.

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