Access to abortion services

AuthorPietruchova, Olga
Access to abortion services for women in the EU - Slovakia
PE 659.922 11
2.1. Procedure and methods available
To procure an abortion on demand, the woman must not have exceeded the twelfth week of her
pregnancy, and she must make a written request for an abortion to her gynaecologist. According to
the law mentioned above, the woman receives information from her gynaecologist about the possible
consequences of the procedure and the alternatives to abortion. Counselling and birth control
information is given to the woman, and she is referred to a hospital to terminate her pregnancy which
can be performed at earliest after 48 hours waiting period from the time of counselling.
If gestation is under 12 weeks, and there are no health contraindications for the procedure, the
procedure is to be performed by the hospital. If gestation is over 12 weeks or if other contraindications
exist, the request is reviewed by a medical committee. Beyond the first trimester, the pregnancy can be
terminated only if the woman’s life or health is endangered or in the case of suspected foetal
impairment as mentioned above.
The only legal recognised method of abortion in Slovakia is surgical abortion. Women in Slovakia
do not have access to medical abortion even though the Slovak Drug Agency has legally registered
Medabon a Mifegyne (the pill) in 20136. However, because of the pressure of the religious and
conservative institutions and actors7, the Ministry of Health has not authorised the pill to enter the
market in Slovakia8. The abortion pill, deemed the safest method available by experts, is thus not
legal in Slovakia. Since the provision of abortion, which is not compliant with the law, is considered a
crime in Slovakia9, the pill is not provided by any health facility. Consequently, some women travel to
Austria for this procedure or obtain the pill online.
9 § 151 of the Penal Code
Box 1: Main legal problems and challenges
Unnecessary waiting period before abortion.
Informed consent with the personal details of the woman is provided to the National
Health Informat ion Centre.
Parental consent obligatory for all girls under 18.
Missing legal regulation on abortion in a case of rape.
Removing the obligatory waiting period before abortion.
Ensuring that the personal data are not further provided to authorities and stay in the
personal medical documentation.
Revising the list of indications for the abortion provided for a medical reasons and include
a case of rape or intimate partners violence.

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