The Slovak Parliament voted on December 5 against a bill that would have undermined women’s privacy and autonomy in decision-making about healthcare. It would also have subjected women to harmful stigma and degrading treatment.
In a joint letter published on 18 November, more than 30 organizations – including Amnesty International – called on all Slovak MPs to reject the draft law. If passed, it would have required women seeking abortion care to fulfil several mandatory requirements, such as ultrasound scanning, that are not justified by medical reasons. The World Health Organization states that there is no medical reason for routine ultrasound prior to abortion. It emphasizes that women’s decisions to access abortion care should be respected and that safe abortion should be “delivered in a way that respects a woman’s dignity, guarantees her right to privacy and is sensitive to her needs and perspectives.”
This outcome is a huge victory for women.