Anti-abortion activists have protested in Croatia amid a fierce debate about reproductive rights in the country.While abortion is legal in the strongly Catholic EU nation, rising religious pressure means many doctors are refusing to carry out terminations.

The protest yesterday came after thousands rallied to support a woman who was refused an abortion despite foetal abnormalities being diagnosed.Following mounting public outrage, a medical commission ruled last week that medical and legal preconditions for the procedure had been met.

Concern has been growing for years that the procedure is becoming less available in the Balkan country due to pressure from the Catholic Church and activists.An overwhelming majority of Croatia’s 3.9 million people are Catholics, and the Church plays an important role in society.

The existing law that permits abortions dates back to 1978, when the country was part of the Communist-run former Yugoslavia.Croatia became an independent country in 1991 and, since then, increasingly influential conservative and religious groups have increased pressure to get abortion banned.

Credit: BBC

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