by Steven Ertelt
November 23, 2006
Ljubljana, Slovenia (LifeNews.com) — The prime minister of the southern European nation of Slovenia has asked a member of the government cabinet to resign after he suggested that the nation should cut back on taxpayer funding of abortion. Slovenia’s center-right Prime Minister Janez Jansa wants Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs Janez Drobnic to step down.
Last week, Drobnic suggested that Slovenia limit taxpayer funding of abortion only to cases when a pregnancy threatens the mother’s life.
He made the suggestion because Slovenia, like many other European nations faces severe underpopulation problems as abortion has depleted the country’s workforce and diminished its ability to support its aging citizens.
Drobnic said cutting abortion funding would reduce abortions and increase the birth rate.
However, Janez complained about the proposal and said Drobnic acted without first consulting other government leaders.
"Too often he acted without harmonizing his activities (with the government), had too many proposals that were not considered carefully and caused useless conflicts," Jansa’s cabinet said, according to a Reuters report.
Abortion has been available for free for decades in Slovenia but abortion proponents claimed not paying for abortions in the nation’s health insurance plan would lead to dangerous abortions — even though most women who have abortions are injured by them and some die.
In making the suggestion, Drobnic said, “According to the constitution, human life is untouchable and we believe the state is not obliged to give financial support for an abortion."
The nation, part of the former Yugoslavia, has a birth rate of just 1.25 children per woman, below replacement levels.
Drobnic is a member of the conservative New Slovenia Party which has partnered with Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party to form a ruling coalition. He is expected to resign his position today.
Meta Roglic, a political analyst of the Dnevnik newspaper, told Reuters that the abortion funding idea was not the sole reason for calling for Drobnic’s ousting.
"The prime minister and trade unions were also unhappy with his work. The strategy (for higher birth rate) was just the tip of the iceberg," she explained.
Slovenia is one of eight formerly communist nations that joined the European Union in 2004 and considered the wealthiest.
Other Eastern European nations such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia face the same underpopulation problems and are considering measures to limit abortions. Russia has already instituted new policies to pay women more than $9,000 if they carry their babies to term.