Abortion in North Macedonia

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Abortion in North Macedonia is legal on request during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in special circumstances between 12 and 22 weeks. Abortion in the Republic of North Macedonia is regulated by a 2019 law.[1]

The 1977 law regulating abortion, enacted while still part of Yugoslavia as the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, was not significantly altered until 2013.[2] Between 2013 and 2019 abortion access was restricted due to a law passed by a conservative government in 2013. A new law was passed in 2019 liberalizing access.[3]

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.[4]

The 2013 Law on Termination of Pregnancy[edit]

Between 2005-2016, Macedonia was strongly dominated by conservative political forces, which promoted traditional values.[5] A strong anti-abortion movement developed, which culminated with a new anti-abortion law in 2013. 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] Although abortion is still permitted, access has been restricted. In 2013, the Parliament passed the law, just 20 days after it had received the first draft. Although some changes from the original harsh draft of the law were made, due to opposition from the public and NGOs, several restrictions remained – restrictions which complicate the access to abortion.[7][8] The new law enacted includes: mandatory filing of a written request for the termination of unwanted pregnancy by the woman to the appropriate health institution, mandatory counseling about the potential advantages of continuing the pregnancy, as well as about the health risks for the woman from undergoing an abortion, and a mandatory waiting period of three days after counseling before medical intervention is conducted to terminate the pregnancy.[9] The original form of the law also stipulated that the woman's partner had to be informed about the abortion – a provision which drew severe opposition and was consequently withdrawn.[10] The law, as well as the anti-abortion campaigns, have been criticized as stigmatizing women and being contrary to women's rights.[11]

The 2019 Law on Termination of Pregnancy[edit]

A new law was enacted in 2019, overturning the obstacles which made access to abortion difficult under the former law.[12]


  1. ^ https://www.ippfen.org/blogs/north-macedonias-abortion-care-law-signals-new-dawn-reproductive-freedom-0
  2. ^ a b "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. ^ https://www.ippfen.org/blogs/north-macedonias-abortion-care-law-signals-new-dawn-reproductive-freedom-0
  4. ^ "World Abortion Policies 2013". United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  5. ^ https://whogoverns.eu/1830-2/
  6. ^ "Macedonia: State anti-abortion ad faces criticism". Associated Press. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  7. ^ http://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/strategic_framework_macedonia.pdf
  8. ^ https://hera.org.mk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ana-M-Kajevska-Abortus-Ukinuvanje-na-demokratijata_ENG.pdf
  9. ^ http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/MKD/INT_CCPR_ICO_MKD_17688_E.docx.
  10. ^ http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/womens-rights-in-macedonia/
  11. ^ http://www.ippfen.org/news/new-abortion-law-macedonia-hurts-women-and-girls
  12. ^ www.ippfen.org/blogs/north-macedonias-abortion-care-law-signals-new-dawn-reproductive-freedom-0