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Hospital denies political link to abortion halt

Bratislava University Hospital has rejected allegations that its new policy effectively ending abortion procedures was introduced based on a demand or call from Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)), hospital spokesperson Zuzana Čižmáriková told the TASR newswire on Tuesday, January 25. She was responding to a report published in the Pravda daily. Many KDH members have religious objections to abortion.

Bratislava University Hospital has rejected allegations that its new policy effectively ending abortion procedures was introduced based on a demand or call from Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)), hospital spokesperson Zuzana Čižmáriková told the TASR newswire on Tuesday, January 25. She was responding to a report published in the Pravda daily. Many KDH members have religious objections to abortion.

“The directorate has simply harmonised the hospital’s policies,” she said, adding that in practice women patients usually prefer to have abortions at private clinics, and that there are six other medical institutions in Bratislava that carry them out.

According to Pravda, as of February 1 all three clinics that come under Bratislava University Hospital will stop carrying out abortions. The daily said it had confirmed this with doctors working at hospitals in Kramáre and Antolská Street in Petržalka. The doctors said that the move was the result of a “mysterious” unofficial decision which they were obliged to observe, even though not all of the more than 80 gynaecologists working for the hospital had conscientious objections to carrying out abortions.

Uhliarik did not comment on the issue when approached by the daily; nor did any other representative of KDH, or Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (Slovak Christian and Democratic Union (SDKÚ)). The KDH’s other coalition partners have expressed concerns, however.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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