New Abortion Law Will Not Be Adopted within Deadline

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, January 16, 2019 – Health Minister Milan Kujundžić said Wednesday that a new abortion law probably will not be adopted within the deadline set by the Constitutional Court, adding that the deadline would be extended.

“According to information available to me, the expert commission will propose to the Constitutional Court to extend the deadline to find the optimum solution,” Kujundžić told the press in Croatian Parliament.

The Croatian Constitutional Court on 2 March 2017 turned down a proposal submitted 26 years earlier by an association which had asked that the existing law regulating abortion be declared unconstitutional, and the Court has also asked the parliament to adopt within the next two years a new law regulating this sensitive issue. This means that the law should be adopted in parliament by early March.

The minister said the public would be included in the debate once the commission defines its position.

The chairman of the health ministry’s task force for analysing EU member-states’ legislation regulating pregnancy termination, Ante Ćorušić, said on Wednesday that the task force’s proposal would not substantially differ from the solution provided in the existing legislation in Croatia.

“The proposal to be made by this task force will not substantially differ from the present law, but it will be changed to make it appropriate to present-day Croatian society,” said Ćorušić after the task force’s meeting in Zagreb.

A blueprint for the future law is likely to be completed in three weeks’ time when the next meeting is scheduled.

The task force is charged with analysing legislative solutions of the other 27 EU member-states, on the basis of which it will put forward a proposal to the working group tasked with preparing the bill, Ćorušić said.

This is a multidisciplinary approach, including medical, legal and ethical aspects, and we need some time to study the extensive material from the EU countries, he added.

The time limit for having an abortion is likely to remain the 10th week of pregnancy as allowed by the existing law.

Counselling, which would not be mandatory, is likely to be introduced as an option before a decision on the termination of pregnancy is made.

Law expert Nenad Hlača said that the time frame for the adoption of the new law within two years as recommended by the Constitutional Court was instructive. The law professor said that this delicate matter could not be dealt with in a few months. It is already commendable that this government has embarked on this job to address this delicate matter, Hlaca said.

More news on the abortion issue in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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