Today HERA and the Macedonian Association of the Gynecologists and Obstetricians held a press conference in order to oppose the Government media campaign (launched 10 days ago) with misleading and intimidating information on abortion.
In the Government campaign titled as “Chose life – You have a right to chose”, including a video spot about the procedure of the termination of pregnancy, infertility, sepsis, perforations of the uterus, complications from the anesthesia and severe mental problems are suggested as consequences of abortion.
Both associations called for Government to stop and withdrawn the campaign for its wrong suggestive information.
Both associations said that:
1. In the last couple of years there is either no death case or serious complications of an abortion procedure registered. The consequences, as suggested in the video spot, can be found with any medical intervention and it is not evidence-based either exclusive only for an abortion procedure
2. The government campaign is completely contradicting with the strategic interventions in the framework of the current national polices for reducing the abortion rate in the country and for improving SRHR (National Strategy of Safe Motherhood and the National Strategy for adolescents health and development)
3. The campaign does not encourage, on the contrary, it denys the right of choice for the women to freely decide about her life and parenthood planning. It reinforces gender stereotypes at the same time
4. The campaign is focused to change the public opinion and awareness by informing them that abortion is a risky medical intervention and the main reason for decreased birth rate in the country. It can only be presumed that this camping has the purpose to adopt a new and restricted Abortion Law which will not consider the right of women to freely decide to continue or terminate her pregnancy.
Therefore HERA and the Macedonian Association of the Gynecologists and Obstetricians recommend:
1. Instead of a media campaign that will teach women about consequences of abortion the government should initiate a campaign on raising public awareness about oral contraception as effective and relevant means for reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
2. The right of the woman to freely decide on her parenthood planning, which is in a line with the Macedonian Constitutional rights and International ratified treaties, to be guaranteed in case the Abortion Law to be amended
3. To improve the infrastructure and the conditions of safe motherhood services
4. To include the oral contraception in the patients’ health insurance package
5. To introduce and implement the newly presented protocols for safe abortion by MoH, including registration of the medical abortion drugs, to further improve the safety and the quality of the safe abortion services
6. To introduce mechanisms for improved social and economical life of future parents (better education, more possibilities for employment and providing social benefits for future parents)
7. Introducing sexuality education in schools as separate discipline.