NEWS BRIEFS

Experts: Vatican Treaty a threat

THE CONSCIENTIOUS objectors' treaty that Slovakia is set to sign with the Vatican might clash with the EU's principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights, a group of independent legal experts established by the EU has concluded. There are fears that the treaty might discriminate against non-believers.

Under the terms of the treaty, medical and educational professionals, among others, would be allowed to refuse to perform a professional task if it violated their religious beliefs, the daily SME reported.

The experts said that the treaty posed the greatest threat to abortion. Since in Slovakia around 70 percent of people claim to be Catholic, they argued, there is "a risk that the rights of conscientious objectors in the area of reproductive health could make abortions and related advisory services inaccessible for women, especially in rural areas".

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