Abortion in the Republic of Macedonia

Abortion in the Republic of Macedonia is legal on request during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After ten weeks, it is permitted in cases where the woman's health or life is in danger, when the child is expected to have severe defects, when the pregnancy results from a crime, or the woman's health is affected by difficult circumstances. The woman and her spouse must be counseled on harmful consequences and pregnancy prevention. Abortions can only be performed by an obstetrician-gynecologist in a health organization that meets certain minimum standards. Before 2013, such abortions could be approved by a Commission consisting of an obstetrician-gynecologist, a general physician or internal medicine specialist, and a social worker or psychologist.[1][2] Since a controversial anti-abortion law was passed in 2013, requests for abortions after 10 weeks must be filed with the health ministry, and a woman who seeks one must affirm that she underwent counseling, informed her partner and met with a gynecologist. [3]

The 1977 law regulating abortion, enacted when Macedonia was part of Yugoslavia, was not significantly altered until 2013.[2] The abortion law of 2013 was passed in an urgent parliamentary procedure that limited debate, a move that was criticized by six Members of the European Parliament,[4] and was called a restriction of women's rights by the opposition.[5]

The government of Macedonia, backed by the Macedonian Orthodox Church, has also conducted advertising campaigns against abortion, aimed at increasing the country's birth rate.[6]

At its peak in 1986, the abortion rate in the Republic of Macedonia was 70.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44; the rate fell after independence, to 28.5 by 1996.[2] As of 2010, the abortion rate was 11.1 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44.[7]


  1. "Law on the termination of pregnancy, 1972, as amended through 1995." (in Macedonian). Harvard School of Public Health. 1995. Archived from the original on 5 June 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 "TFYR of Macedonia". Abortion Policies: A Global Review (DOC). Country Profiles. United Nations Population Division. 2002. pp. 127–9. OCLC 48213121. Archived from the original on 11 January 2005.
  3. "MPs pass law on Abortion". Macedonian International News Agency. 10 June 2013. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013.
  4. Gaydazhieva, Stanislava (12 June 2013). "FYROM new abortion law raises European concerns". New Europe. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  5. Marusic, Sinisa Jakov (10 June 2013). "Macedonia Adopts Controversial Abortion Law". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  6. "Macedonia: State anti-abortion ad faces criticism". Associated Press. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  7. "World Abortion Policies 2013". United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.

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