AuthorPietruchova, Olga
Access to abortion services for women in the EU - Slovakia
PE 659.922 21
I. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth per iodic reports of Slovakia in the
area of health (CEDAW/C/SVK/CO/5-6, 20/11/2015)
30. The Committee is concerned that:
(a) The adoption of a comprehensive programme on sexual and reproductive health and rights
has been long pending, despite the fact that, rates of teenage pregnancy and infant mortality are high
and infection of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, is increasing;
(b) Cost of modern forms of contraception for the purpose of preventing unintended pregnancies
and abortion on request are not covered by the public health insurance;
(c) An amendment to the Healthcare Act in 2009 introduced a mandatory 48-hour waiting period,
compulsory counselling and in case of girls under 18 years old, parental consent prior to abortion and
the duty of doctors to report each case where a woman is seeking abortion to the National Health
Information Centre with personal details;
(d) In more than one third of the districts legal abortion is unavailable and in four of these districts
it is unavailable due to conscientious objectio n;
(e) Oversight procedures and mechanisms for ensuring adequate standards of care and the
respect for women’s rights, dignity and autonomy during deliveries are lacking, and options for giving
birth outside hospitals are limited;
(f) Roma women are segregated from other patients in materni ty hospitals.
31. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Adopt and implement, without further delay, a comprehensive programme on sexual and
reproductive health and rights which is in line with the Convention and its general recommendation
No. 24 on women and health, as well as international human rights and World Health Organization
standards; allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources for the implementation of such
programme; conduct research to identify the root causes of the high rates of infant mortality and
teenage pregnancy as well as of the increase of sexually transmitted diseases; and ensure free, active
and meaningful participation of women’s organizations, in particular those working on women’s sexual
and reproductive health and rights, in the development, implementation and monitoring of such
(b) Revise relevant legislation and ensure universal coverage by the public health insurance of all
costs related to legal abortion, including abortion on request, as well as modern contraceptives for the
prevention of unwanted pregnancy;
(c) Revise the Healthcare Law as amended in 2009 to ensure access to safe abortion and remove
the requirement for mandatory counselling, medically unnecessary waiting periods, and third-party
authorization, in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization;
(d) Ensure unimpeded and effective access to legal abortion and post-abortion services to all
women in the State party, including by ensuring mandatory referrals in case of conscientious
objections by institutions, while respecting individual conscientious objections;

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