Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Counseling Requirements in Central and Eastern Europe: Restricting Access to Abortion, Undermining Human Rights and Reinforcing Harmful Gender Stereotypes

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Across Central and Eastern European countries, women’s access to abortion services is increasingly threatened by the introduction of regressive legal and policy measures that impose mandatory waiting periods and biased counseling and information requirements prior to abortion. The introduction of these requirements creates new barriers which women have to surmount in order to access legal abortion services.

In this new fact sheet, the Center for Reproductive Rights presents a comparative overview of this concerning trend and captures the way in which the retrogressive introduction of these laws and policies undermines compliance with international human rights law and standards. With reference to the jurisprudence and recommendations of international human rights mechanisms, and to international medical and ethical standards, the fact sheet outlines what human rights are at stake and explains how these barriers embody harmful gender stereotypes. 

Download the fact sheet in English, Macedonian or Russian to learn more.