"The HUBOL association of state-run hospital doctors on Friday requested the adoption of a new abortion and pregnancy termination law, saying that half-truths on the case of Mirela Cavajda are creating an unacceptable campaign against doctors and misinterpreting the role of conscientious objection," state agency Hina reported in their summary of the group's latest unsigned press release.
In a statement, HUBOL expressed genuine regret for Cavajda, whose unborn child has a brain tumour. HUBOL said conscientious objection was founded in international legal documents, Croatian law, and the Code of Medical Ethics, and legally, everything about it was clear.
Cavajda’s case is not about conscientious objection, HUBOL said, adding that a woman’s legal right to abortion and pregnancy termination and a doctor’s right to conscientious objection must not be mutually exclusive.
“The Ministry of Health has the duty to ensure conditions for the exercise of both rights,” the statement said.
Pregnancy termination in case of a seriously malformed fetus after the 22nd week is feticide, which is not regulated by Croatian law, HUBOL said, adding that a doctor who performs it could be criminally charged.
Neither Hina nor HUBOL explained how something they say isn’t legally regulated at all can lead to criminal charges.
If such a pregnancy is terminated in a way that results in a live birth, the neonatologist is legally obliged to provide for the baby in the best way possible, or risk being sued for negligence, HUBOL added.
It called for adopting a new law that would clearly regulate the rights and obligations of doctors regarding pregnancy termination as well as protecting children, pregnant women, mothers and doctors from misinterpretations.