Mandatory waiting periods and biased abortion counseling in Central and Eastern Europe (Hoctor y Lamačková)

Mandatory waiting periods and biased abortion counseling in Central and Eastern Europe

Leah Hoctor y Adriana Lamačková




Several Central and Eastern European countries have recently enacted retrogressive laws and policies introducing new preconditions 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. The present 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