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Health Minister Uhliarik denies banning abortions at Bratislava University hospital

Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) told journalists after the government’s cabinet meeting on January 26 that he had not issued any decree banning abortions at facilities of the Bratislava University Hospital (UNB), the TASR newswire wrote. Uhliarik also stated that the head of the hospital complex, Jozef Sabol, had also ruled out the possibility that such a decision was made by top UNB representatives.

Slovakia’s Health Minister Ivan Uhliarik of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) told journalists after the government’s cabinet meeting on January 26 that he had not issued any decree banning abortions at facilities of the Bratislava University Hospital (UNB), the TASR newswire wrote.

Uhliarik also stated that the head of the hospital complex, Jozef Sabol, had also ruled out the possibility that such a decision was made by top UNB representatives.

"No pressure or recommendation whereby doctors would have been manipulated has been made," the minister said, while also expressing understanding for doctors who decline to conduct abortions because of their religious beliefs.

The Pravda daily wrote in its January 25 edition that beginning in February all three clinics under UNB’s wing will stop performing abortions, even those before the 12th week of pregnancy. Pravda reported that doctors had told the paper that this came in the wake of an unofficial decision which doctors must follow, even those gynaecologists who have no moral objection to performing abortions.

Uhliarik stated that hospitals in Nové Zámky and Trnava have been refusing to conduct abortions for six and 12 years, respectively. The minister said he personally welcomed the decision of some doctors not to perform abortions.

"Even the Hippocratic oath refers to this so it's not caprice by some political party," the minister said. Uhliarik stated that UNB will continue to perform abortions for health reasons. Private health-care facilities do not face any restrictions on performing abortions, he said.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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