Current trends and activities

AuthorPietruchova, Olga
Access to abortion services for women in the EU - Slovakia
PE 659.922 15
3.1. Civil society stakeholders
3.1.1. Anti-choice
In Slovakia, a significant increase in opposition against gender equality can be noted since 2013. Most
publicly active actors are predominantly Christian religion-affiliated NGOs and the Church itself. They
organise numerous lectures, protests, marches, write articles, and publish videos and petition against
the “gender ideology” in direct conflict with the traditional family values. One of the essential
objectives for these actors is to halt the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing
and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). Traditionally,
women´s free choice and the right to abortion is the main target of those groups which, according to
them, is a “culture of death”. The main actors are:
Conference of Bishops, which is the head of the Slovak Catholic Church. Conference of
Bishops and some priests of the Catholic church are regularly active in efforts to limit the
reproductive rights of women. They organised, together in cooperation with Christian-based
organisation, “The March for Life”15, taking place three times so far, with about 50 thousand
participants at each of the marches. Although the aim of the march has always been positively
presented to the public - as to “support family”, the request to ban abortions in Slovakia was its
main objective.
Christian religion-affiliated NGOs as Fórum života (Forum for Life)16 and Aliancia za rodinu
(Alliance for Family)17 which are the most known anti-choice NGOs in Slovakia. They organise
several events as the Day of the conceived child on 25th March or a Candle for the unborn child
(November 1st).
3.1.2. Pro-choice
The pro-choice movement is Slovakia is led by a group of feminist NGOs, particularly Možnosť voľby
(The Freedom of Choice)18 which was formed back in 2001 as a platform to protect the legal status of
abortion. Latest activities as described below are organised by Možnost voľby in a coalition with a
feminist organisation Aspekt and other feminist and human rights NGOs. However, the financial and
personal capacity of those NGOs can hardly be compared to the Catholic Church generously funded
via state budget. Možnosť voľby provided MPs with a legal analysis of the current proposals on
restricting abortions. 19
Gynaecologist umbrella organisation has lately presented experts opinion backing the current legal
status of abortions and a necessity to introduce medical abortion in Slovakia.
The negative attitude of the current government toward gender equality further limits the financial
and personal capacity of women NGOs. Particularly the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family
responsible for gender equality in the country, rejects the concept of gender in general20.
Consequently, the funding scheme by its Ministry supposed to support NGOs working in the field of
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