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Abortion Igor Matovič parliament Slovakia Commentary

Abortion restriction bill’s defeat in Slovak parliament highlights challenges of pro-life movement in Europe

The example of Slovakia shows how difficult it is to pass a bill in Europe which even minimally restricts abortion access, writes Polish-Catholic columnist Grzegorz Górny

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Grzegorz Górny

When the center-right coalition party headed by OL’aNO (Ordinary People) came to power in Slovakia this spring, liberal-left media began to scare society with the threat of so-called “talibs” — Catholic extremists who would try to build a religious state.

This is because Igor Matovic, who was chosen as Slovak prime minister, had become famous in the past for his pro-life activism.

In March 2012, he organized an event in defense of unborn life in Bratislava’s old market. Alongside his colleagues, he created a massive heart out of 13,000 children’s shoes to symbolize the 13,000 children killed through abortion in Slovakia every year.

After the 2020 elections, it was assumed that the topic of abortion would move forward in parliament, especially since some Christian MPs demanded introducing amendments to the communist-era bill which permitted abortion on demand.

It turned out, instead, that there is no agreement within the ruling coalition to restrict abortion laws. The final amendment project, headed by Anna Zaborska, came out as very minimalistic from the point of view of real protection of unborn life.

The amendment came down to three main points:

  1. A ban on commercializing abortion for profit.
  2. Extending the so-called period of reflection — the time between filing for an abortion and carrying it out — from 48 to 96 hours.
  3. The necessity to obtain two independent medical opinions concerning a serious illness of the child in the case of an abortion at an advanced stage of pregnancy (up to the 24th week).