Croatian pregnant with severely affected foetus granted abortion in Slovenia

Hand arranging wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept

Ljubljana – A Croatian woman carrying a foetus with a large brain tumour has been making headlines after she was denied abortion in Croatia even if her baby would have very slim chances of survival if born. Mirela Čavajda has now been granted abortion in Slovenia, Croatian news agency Hina reported on Tuesday.

Čavajda, 39, was forced to seek help in neighbouring Slovenia after she was not allowed to terminate her pregnancy in Croatia, Hina said.

She wanted to have an abortion when the foetus was diagnosed with a huge malignant brain tumour in week 24 of the pregnancy – which is towards the end of the second trimester.

However, Croatian doctors told her that it is impossible to have an abortion after week 10, although the law does set down certain exceptions.

Her lawyer Vesna Jurić told Hina on Tuesday that a commission in Slovenia had approved her client an abortion.

She has not yet decided whether to have abortion in Slovenia as she is still awaiting a decision of a commission at a Zagreb hospital.

The woman is due to have another MRI scan today in the Croatian capital, although a special commission convened by the Croatian health minister decided before she received the date for the scan that the foetus could be treated, which means that abortion is not allowed.

The Mirela Čavajda case has triggered strong reactions in Croatia, reopening the debate on the accessibility of abortion as 60% of Croatian gynaecologists exercise conscientious objection.

Last week a Croatian NGO launched a campaign to raise funds so that Čavajda could terminate pregnancy in Slovenia.

In Slovenia, abortion is covered by health insurance, but for women who do not have health insurance it would cost from EUR 3,000-5,000.

The right to abortion is a constitutional right in Slovenia, which has been often criticised by pro-life groups and the Catholic Church.

It is allowed until week 10 upon the pregnant woman’s request, and their is no age limit. Underage persons do not need their parents’ consent.