14-Central and Eastern Europe

After the Supreme Soviet liberalised its abortion laws in 1955, all the Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (except Albania) passed similar legislation. In the 1970s, concern about low birth rates led to new restrictions in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Following the collapse of Communist rule in 1990, there has been renewed anti-abortion pressure from the Catholic Church and pro-life groups and politicians, which have affected abortion laws in several countries.

Unlike most Western European countries, the former Communist bloc countries traditionally relied on abortion as a means of birth control.

Czech Republic and Slovakia (Former Czechoslovakia)<
Czechoslovakia first liberalised its abortion laws in 1957, on health and social grounds. Abortion was used as birth control.

In January 1987, a new law ended the requirement that a District Abortion Committee approve the abortion.

Abortions in the first trimester are allowed upon a written request by the woman to her gynaecologist. After 12 weeks, the decision is up to doctors and medical authorities.

When the country was divided into two independent states in January 1993, fees for abortions were instituted in both countries. Slovakia is strongly Catholic and pro-life groups campaign to legally restrict abortion.