In a previously recorded interview that aired on October 22, 2011, Joseph Meaney, director of international coordination at Human Life International (HLI), spoke to EWTN’s Celtic Connections radio program about recent updates on the pro-life front in Eastern Europe.
When asked what country should be watched for upcoming pro-life initiatives, Meaney replied that pro-lifers should look towards Russia.
“The Russian presidency and the parliament are both interested in finding concrete solutions to limiting abortion,” Meaney told Celtic Connections. “They’ve already started with a number of measures this year, particularly making it illegal to describe abortion as a ‘safe medical procedure,’ and requiring those who advertise for abortion to talk about the health risks associated with it.”
The same weekend the interview aired, the Russian parliament voted to restrict abortions in the country beyond the 12th week of pregnancy. The new measure also imposes a mandatory waiting period of between two and seven days before having an abortion. Unfortunately for pro-life advocates, exceptions are still permitted for economic hardship, which allows abortions up to 22 weeks of gestation.
“In the near future, probably in Croatia and Slovakia we’ll start seeing some wonderful [pro-life initiatives],” Meaney added.
Meaney reported that pro-lifers in Slovakia recently held a conference celebrating the tenth anniversary of the first major pro-life conference to be held in Slovakia in 2001. Participants discussed their future goals for spreading the culture of life in Slovakia.
“They’re hoping to get a number of things enforced [in Slovakia]. One of them is conscientious objection: allowing hospitals and doctors to refuse to participate in any kind of abortion,” Meaney said.
“There has been strong pressure on countries to force institutions like Catholic hospitals to allow abortions to take place,” said Meaney. “They’re really hoping to make that absolutely impossible in Slovakia.”
Meaney also said that doctors who are conscientious objectors to abortion in Slovenia are having a hard time finding work, are being punished administratively for not performing abortions. Medical school students in Slovenia are also under pressure to perform abortions according to Meaney.
“They had a pro-life week that was sponsored by the bishops [in Slovenia], and a professor from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome talked to them about their rights as human beings, not to be forced to be complicit with the culture of death,” said Meaney.
Listen to Joseph Meaney’s full interview with Celtic Connections below:
LifeNews.com Note: Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.