Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Abortion Counseling in Central and Eastern Europe

Congratulations to Leah Hoctor and Adriana Lamačková of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, whose article has just been published in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.  The article addresses the recent retrogressive introduction of mandatory waiting periods and biased counseling and information requirements prior to abortion in Central and Eastern Europe.

Leah Hoctor and Adriana Lamačková,  Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Abortion Counseling in Central and Eastern Europe (2017). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 139 (Nov. 2017): 253–258. 
PDF at Wiley Online Library.    Submitted text online at SSRN.

A number of Central and Eastern European countries have recently enacted retrogressive laws and policies introducing new pre-conditions that women must fulfill before they can obtain legal abortion services. Mandatory waiting periods and biased counseling and information requirements are particularly common examples of these new prerequisites. This article considers these requirements in light of international human rights standards and public health guidelines, and outlines the manner in which, by imposing regressive barriers on women’s access to legal abortion services, these new laws and policies undermine women’s health and well-being, fail to respect women’s human rights, and reinforce harmful gender stereotypes and abortion stigma.

Key words: Abortion; Abortion counseling; Central and Eastern Europe; Discrimination; Human rights; Informed consent; Waiting periods

The published article is online in PDF at Wiley Library.
Full text, as submitted, is online at SSRN.
Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health: 80 other concise articles.


Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

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