News digest: Ukrainian refugees struggle to access reproductive health care

Encouragement for President Zuzana Čaputová in her stand against Robert Fico, swans threatened by poppy addiction, Old City Days in Žilina.

Some traumatised Ukrainian refugees were effectively refused health care, charities report. (Illustrative photo).Some traumatised Ukrainian refugees were effectively refused health care, charities report. (Illustrative photo). (Source: Marko Erd, SME)

Good afternoon. Here is the Friday, May 26 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Refugees forced to make long journeys to obtain abortions

Ukrainian refugees seeking abortions in Slovakia are facing multiple obstacles, reproductive health-care charities report. Most are unfamiliar with the right to conscientious objection that allows Slovak doctors – and sometime entire hospitals – to refuse to perform abortions. As a result, some are being forced to travel back to Ukraine, a war zone, to get care. Many of the refugees in question are already victims of sexual assault by Russian soldiers. Refugees in general also commonly struggle to afford reproductive health and sanitary products. When it comes to health care for LGBT+ Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia, activists are simply advising them to leave the country and head west.

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More from The Slovak Spectator website

  • Nature: Scores of swans that have become hooked on poppy sprouts in southern Slovakia are at risk of dying.
  • Bratislava: A Depeche Mode concert, a street food festival and an event for collectors days are just a few of the highlights of our Top 10 tips for foreigners in Bratislava.
  • Weekend: The work of famous Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha is now ready for visitors in Piešťany. Here’s what to do during the weekend.

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    Event for today

The Žilina Old City Days are here

Until Sunday, May 27, visitors and residents in Žilina will be able to enjoy a thrilling and colourful programme during the Old City Days. You can look forward to concerts from current Slovak artists, a chamber concert, orchestral music, and more.

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The Old City Days are centred on Námestie Andreja Hlinku and Mariánske Námestie in Žilina, which is in northern Slovakia.

Today's events start at 14:00 on Námestie Andreja Hlinku, wrapping up with concerts at 22:00. On Mariánske Námestie, the programme starts at 16:00 with the State Chamber Orchestra of Žilina – wrapping up at around 21:00 with another concert.

The programme on Sunday, May 27 starts at 14:00 on Mariánske Námestie, with an ecumenical prayer and wraps up with a performance by the Jan Valjean Orchestra at 21:00.

In other news

  • On balance, people support President Zuzana Čaputová in her legal steps against opposition leader Robert Fico (Smer), a new poll suggests. Fico has recently intensified his years-long campaign of vilification against Čaputová, calling her an “American agent”. The Ipsos polling agency conducted a survey for the Denník N daily showing that 49 percent of people support her in her decision, while 29 percent disagree. (Denník N)
  • The allowance for Ukrainian people might change. Prime Minister Ľudovít Ódor wants to support working Ukrainians and single mothers, but he and his cabinet say the current short-term allowance solutions are non-motivating for Ukrainians. Slovak citizens who house Ukrainian refugees will continue to receive an allowance until the end of the year. (TASR)
  • The government has withdrawn a proposal for life partnerships for LGBT+ people. The cabinet thinks the proposal is not adequate. The original suggestion on fiduciary statements would have changed inheritance management, health-care rights and rules on the protection of minors. (TASR)
  • NOVA and OĽaNO will join forces in the upcoming general election. NOVA leader Gábor Grendel said that the two parties have a shared focus on tackling corruption. (SME)

    Weather forecast

The weather will be superb this weekend: sunny and warm on both Saturday and Saturday, with temperatures of 23-24°C.

There may be some rain on Monday in western Slovakia, with temperatures of around 22°C. (SHMÚ)

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