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Lithuanian government pushes new abortion legislation

  • 2010-09-30
  • TBT Staff

The Health Minister is pushing for amendments that would give doctors the right to refuse to perform an abortion on religious grounds.

VILNIUS -- The Lithuanian Health Ministry is pushing for new legislation to the abortion laws that would give doctors free  choice over whether or not to perform the procedure.

"When we talk about religious beliefs, about the very complicated question of viewpoint to life and its preservance, of course, we should respect the people that have to give the service, and their right to refuse to do it," Health Minister Raimundas Sukys said in an interview with the Baltic News Service.

The minister is promoting in Parliament amendments to the Medical Practice Law which would give doctors the right to refuse to perform an abortion for a patient if their religious or moral beliefs were against it.

The idea for the amendments came about amidst talks with the Vatican over bilateral agreements between the two states.

Sukys stressed that the bill would not act as a step toward banning abortions in the country. He said doctors who refused to perform the abortion would be urged to refer their clients to other doctors are more willing to help.