News digest: Health minister ponders politically fraught abortion pill decision

Summer in Bratislava, the future of stores, and the general prosecutor objects to a sentencing decision.

The future of safer abortion in Slovakia is still unknown.The future of safer abortion in Slovakia is still unknown. (Source: Marko Erd, SME)

Good afternoon. Here is the Friday, June 9 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Slovakia continues to be an EU holdout by barring access to abortion pill

Discussions about how to make abortion safer have been going on for 10 years in Slovakia. An option favoured by clinicians, the abortion pill, which avoids surgical complications and reduces future pregnancy risks, was introduced and even registered in 2013 – but then rejected by politicians. The Health Ministry still forbids all non-surgical methods of abortion. It is one of just four countries in the EU still to ban use of the pill.

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A change could now come with the new caretaker government. Prime Minister Ľudovít Ódor, while noting that virtually all advanced countries provide access to the abortion pill, has left the final decision in the hands of his health minister, Michal Palkovič.

More from The Slovak Spectator website

A possibility for more sustainable shopping

Online shopping has the ability to reduce our carbon footprint – single trips to the shop are less sustainable than a delivery service, at least when deliveries are planned strategically in terms of both economy and ecology. The future of retail could be in completely self-service stores, the CEO of Tesco Stores SR, Martin Kuruc, tells The Slovak Spectator in an interview.

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In other news

  • General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka has ordered the Bratislava Prosecutor's Office to appeal against Dušan Dědeček's sentence. Dědeček was convicted yesterday and sentenced to 15 years for a crash at the Zochová bus stop in Bratislava last October in which he killed 5 people and injured 20 more while driving drunk. Prosecutors effectively agreed to the sentence as part of a plea deal, but Žilinka considers it too low for the death of five people. (SME)
  • Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (the leader of the Sme Rodina party) formally announced the date of the snap general election for September 30, 2023. Political parties need to submit their candidate lists at least 90 days beforehand, and pay a deposit of €17,000. It is possible to vote via mail and from abroad, but voters must request the service. (TASR)
  • The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) issued warnings because of ongoing rainfall. Storm warnings with second-level severity apply to all of Slovakia. Flash floods warnings, also at second-level severity, apply to regions around Humenné in eastern Slovakia, regions around Banská Štiavnica in southern Slovakia, and regions around Trenčín in western Slovakia. (SHMÚ)

A floor at the Bratislava-Ružinov hospital gets flooded on June 8, 2023.

Weather forecast

For Saturday and Sunday, rain is expected to continue, with temperatures around 23°C. Skies will be partly clear on Monday; partly sunny in the west, sunny elsewhere. Temperatures will be around 22°C. (SHMÚ)

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