Thousands of people demonstrated Thursday in Croatia against neglect of women’s health, outraged by the case of a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems.
The demonstrations, called “Enough”, were held a day after a medical commission finally allowed him to intervene, amid national outrage over the case.
“We are going to force the health system to respect women,” Sanja Sarnavka, a prominent Croatian women’s rights activist, told several thousand people who gathered in the main square of the capital, Zagreb.
“Enough, enough!” chanted the protesters, some of whom carried pink banners that read “Enough denying medical procedures,” “Enough of clericalism in gynecological clinics” or “Enough of endangering the women’s health”.
The rallies were intended to show “solidarity with all women whose… health rights guaranteed by Croatian law are violated on a daily basis,” the rights groups that organized them said.
In this European Union country, where conservatives backed by the Catholic Church aspire to curb the right to abortion, the procedure is legal until the tenth week of pregnancy.
After that period, it can be done if the health of the mother or the fetus is in serious danger, as well as in cases of rape or incest.
But abortion is increasingly restricted as growing religious pressure causes doctors to reject it on moral grounds.