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abortion-2
(06/15/08) -

Czech Majority Supports Abortion Rights

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Support for legal abortions is clearly high in the Czech Republic, according to a poll by CVVM. 75 per cent of respondents think abortion should be allowed at the woman’s request, while an additional 15 per cent think it should be permitted "for societal reasons."

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Support for legal abortions is clearly high in the Czech Republic, according to a poll by CVVM. 75 per cent of respondents think abortion should be allowed at the woman’s request, while an additional 15 per cent think it should be permitted "for societal reasons."

Support for on-demand abortion has increased by three points since May 2007. Less than 10 per cent of respondents think pregnancy termination should only be legal when the mother’s health is at risk, or that it should be completely banned.

Abortion is legal in the Czech Republic within the first 12 weeks of gestation. The procedure can also be performed for medical reasons in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, or at any time during gestation and if the fetus has defects.

Czechoslovakia was separated into two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in the "velvet divorce" of 1993, a reference to the "velvet revolution" in 1989 when mass peaceful demonstrations led to the end of communist rule in the country.

The law allowing for abortion was introduced with some restrictions in 1975, when the Czech Republic was still part of Czechoslovakia. Since 1992, abortions for non-medical reasons are not covered by the state-administered health care system, but rates for this procedure are generally low.

Earlier this year, the Christian and Democratic Union – Czech People’s Party (KDU-CSL)—one of the three parties in the centre-right governing coalition—introduced a bill proposing new conditions for pregnancy termination. These included allowing the father to speak his mind before an abortion is conducted, and raising the age of parental consent from 16 to 18 years. The bill was rejected by the legislature, and was opposed by the senior governing Civic Democratic Party (ODS).

ODS lawmaker Boris Stastny, who serves as the deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies health committee, said about the proposed bill: "The Christian Democrats’ proposal is a step back and it can be compared with the denial of women’s suffrage."

Polling Data

What is your opinion on abortion?

 

May 2008

May 2007

Abortion should be allowed at the request of the woman

75%

72%

Abortion should be allowed for societal reasons

15%

19%

Abortion should only be allowed if a woman’s health is at risk

6%

5%

Abortion should be banned

1%

1%

Not sure

3%

2%

Source: CVVM
Methodology: Interviews with 1,066 Czech adults, conducted from May 12 to May 19, 2000. No margin of error was provided.