Today, the European Humanist Federation (EHF) joins the international action #NebudemeTicho – #WeWontBeSilent in solidarity with women in Slovakia. A coalition of 36 civil society organisations launched this action against a new draft legislation, which would obstruct access to safe abortion care, harm women’s health and violate Slovakia’s international human rights obligations. As part of this campaign, the EHF signed a letter calling on members of the Slovak National Council to reject this regressive legislative proposal. EHF’s Slovak Member Organisation ETHOS supports these initiatives and affirms their strong opposition to this bill.
This new draft legislation would require women seeking abortion care to undergo mandatory ultrasound scanning, to view and obtain the ultrasound image of the embryo or the foetus and to listen to its heartbeat. It would also penalize ‘advertising’ on abortion with a heavy fine. Such legislation would be a violation of women’s personal integrity and autonomy in decision-making about their health. It would also subject them to humiliating and degrading treatment. Penalising ‘advertisement’ on abortion would have a chilling effect on all communication on this matter and breach the right to receive evidence-based information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
This attempt is part of a wider trend tending to limit women’s reproductive rights. The EHF recalls that sexual and reproductive rights are fundamental rights and the need to foster them across Europe. Humanism stands for autonomy and freedom of choice, core elements of the dignity of the human being.