Both the number of births and abortions have been falling for years.
Last year, 36,481 babies were born in Croatia, which was 1,012 fewer than the year before, and almost 3,500 babies fewer compared to five years ago, reports Večernji List on May 9, 2018.
Just like the number of births, the number of abortions performed in health care institutions continues to fall. Last year’s number of abortions was the lowest since 1995. The total number of abortions was 6,145, which was 759 fewer than the year before. The abortions are mostly opted for by women aged between 30 and 39, with no children or with one or two children.
Furthermore, the same data show that the highest number of abortions is performed at the Merkur Clinical Hospital in Zagreb, in Clinical Hospital Centres (KBC) in Split, Rijeka and Osijek, and in General Hospital in Pula. On the other hand, in hospitals in Vinkovci, Našice and Nova Gradiška, there was just one legally performed abortion last year.
In some hospitals, abortions are rarely or never performed due to conscientious objection to which doctors are legally entitled.
The issue of abortion is expected to dominate the political debates in the forthcoming period. According to the decision of the Constitutional Court, the government and parliament have until February to adopt the first Croatian law on termination of pregnancy. This “first abortion law” should replace the present law, inherited from former Yugoslavia, and finally settle all questions about abortion, including the fact that in some hospitals doctors use conscientious objection to prevent women from having an abortion, which is their legal right.
According to the latest information, Health Minister Milan Kujundžić was supposed to convene a commission to draft a proposal of the law based on experience and legal solutions to this issue in other countries. However, unofficial sources say the commission has not yet been formed.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Ivana Rimac Lesički).