06/11/2013: PROTEST AGAINST THE NEW LAW FOR DETERMINATION OF PREGNANCY
The National network to end violence against women and domestic violence supported and actively participated in the protests initiated from the association for health education and research H.E.R.A. The National network supported the civil organizations initiative to withdraw the new law for determination of pregnancy proposed by the Ministry of health decided to be adopted in a simplified procedure. The Network as an organization which stands for the promotion of women rights, believes that with these changes and additions, the law for determination of pregnancy affects the women rights and freedom to independently decide for their future, so together with other 72 civil organizations signed the letters submitted to the Ministry of Health, the Committee for Health and the legislative juridical committee, (http://hera.org.mk/?p=1566). These letters represented a public call to the prime minister and the members of the parliament to withdraw the decision to adopt the law by a simplified procedure, and to start consultative procedure including all relevant actors as a way to adopt a law as important as this.
Despite the opinion of the minister of health Nikola Todorov, who believes that the proposed changes in the law, are only changes regarding the legal terminology, the supporters of the initiative believe that a law that requests submitting official request from the women asking permission for the procedure, enforce informing the partner and counseling before making the decision for determination of pregnancy and a 72 hours period for “rethinking“ are changes that are complicating the process and are risk factors for increasing the number of illegal abortions, which may result with a bigger rate of mortality of newborns and an aggravated state of women’s health.
The draft law is opposing women’s rights of privacy, physical integrity and autonomy, health and non-discrimination that are already protected by the Constitution, and are reflected in the international documents for human rights, that the Republic of Macedonia has already ratified.
The protestants carried transparents saying ‘’Todorov stay away from my uterus ‘’, ‘’Don’t protect me from Me ‘’, ‘’Minister don’t act like you are mad’’ and ‘’Withdraw the law ‘’.
Besides all the efforts to withdraw the decision for adopting the law with a simplified procedure, the Law was adopted with 60 votes pro and 2 contra on the plenary session held on 10.06.2013. H.E.R.A addressed a letter to the president of the Republic of Macedonia, asking him not to sign the decree for the proclamation of the adopted law and to return it to a regular parliament procedure. ( http://hera.org.mk/?p=1615)
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PHOTO BY: Vancho Dzambaski