Friday, 25 June 2021

Abortion Ban in Croatia Will Not Happen, Says Sandra Benčić

June 25th, 2021 - The abortion ban in Croatia will not happen because more than 70 percent of citizens do not want it.

Jutarnji reports, commenting on the adoption of the resolution on sexual and reproductive health by Predrag Fred Matić in the European Parliament, Member of Parliament We can! Sandra Benčić said during a guest appearance on the N1 TV show Novi dan that the resolution deals with the overall reproductive and sexual rights of women, that it is an "exceptional" document and that she congratulated Matić on his "huge success".

"I believe that now, regardless of these attempts not to implement this resolution, attempts to reduce it in any way, that there will be a strong message to governments that women's reproductive and sexual rights are part of the right to health and will be respected", said Bencic for H1.

Asked what she thought about the request to discuss the resolution in the Parliament, Benčić said that she thought it was pointless.

"I can understand that someone is against abortion and that on a personal level it is considered something that should not be in the law. It’s someone’s attitude and it’s understandable. However, this resolution alone does not go beyond what our law goes beyond. Our law also says regarding the appeal of conscience that doctors have the right to appeal to conscience, but that hospitals are obliged to provide a sufficient number of doctors who do not have a conscience appeal so that it can enable abortion for those who want it" said Benčić.

"There will be no ban on abortion in Croatia for the simple reason that more than 70 percent of women and men in Croatia believe that the issue of abortion, contraception, and reproductive rights remain minimally as they are now. That is a thing that the right side of the political spectrum will not succeed in, because the citizens do not see it that way" she added.

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Friday, 25 June 2021

Matić's Report Adopted, Alternative Motion For Resolution By EPP Rejected

June 25th, 2021 - The European Parliament adopted a report by Croatian MEP Predrag Fred Matić on sexual and reproductive health and rejected an alternative motion for a resolution by the European People's Party (EPP).

Matić's resolution, which sparked a media storm, a reaction from the Church, and a debate in the Croatian parliament, calls on member states to introduce comprehensive sex education for young people, to improve access to contraception, and to ensure better access to menstrual hygiene products by abolishing taxes.

It calls on member states to ensure safe and legal abortion and stresses that "a total ban on abortion care or denial of abortion care is a form of gender-based violence."

Member states should ensure more accessible infertility treatment and antenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care, it is said in the resolution, which was adopted by 378 votes in favor, 255 against, and 42 abstentions.

The resolution also notes that "there are several links between prostitution and trafficking, and acknowledges that prostitution - both in the EU and across the globe - fuels the trafficking of vulnerable women and minors" and calls for the abolition of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages.

The European Parliament "recognizes that for personal reasons, individual medical practitioners may invoke a conscience clause; (...) however, (...) an individual's conscience clause may not interfere with a patient's right to full access to healthcare and services," the resolution says.

The Parliament "regrets that sometimes common practice in the Member States allows for medical practitioners, and on some occasions entire medical institutions, to refuse to provide health services based on the so-called conscience clause, which leads to the denial of abortion care on the grounds of religion or conscience, and which endangers women's lives and rights," it is said in the resolution.

Right-wing politicians criticized Matić's report due to, they said, citing abortion as a human right, problematizing the conscience clause, and exceeding the powers of EU member states.

The European People's Party submitted its own resolution for adoption.

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) also had a motion for a resolution. They demanded a plenary session the day before that Matić's report be removed from the agenda, which was not adopted.

Matić's resolution was earlier approved by the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality by 27 votes in favor and six against.

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