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Slovakia rejects bill requiring ultrasound before abortion

LONDON – Lawmakers in Slovakia have rejected a proposed bill that would have made it obligatory for women seeking abortions to first have an ultrasound and obtain the consent of the father before having the procedure.

The bill was submitted by three members of the conservative Slovak National Party. In its initial draft, the bill made it mandatory for women to listen to the fetal heartbeat where possible. After being debated earlier this week, the bill was rejected on Thursday.

Last month, more than 30 organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, wrote to Slovak parliamentarians expressing their “deep concern” about the proposed law. They warned that if the legislation was adopted, Slovakia would be the only European Union country to impose such requirements on women in countries with legalized abortion.