CZECH REPUBLIC. Law on abortion, 20 October 1986.

Purpose of the Law

1. This Law shall regulate the artificial termination of pregnancy and shall establish conditions for the performance thereof with due regard to protection of the life and health of the woman and in the interests of planned and responsible childbirth.

Prevention of unwanted pregnancies

2. Unwanted pregnancies shall be prevented principally by education in planned and responsible childbirth in the family, in schools, and in health establishments, by educational measures in the social and cultural environment, and by the use of contraceptives.

3. Contraceptives on medical prescription, medical examinations, and follow-up examinations associated therewith shall be provided to women free of charge.

Conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy

4. A pregnancy shall be artificially terminated if the woman makes a written request to this effect, the pregnancy has not passed the twelfth week, and there are no contraindications on health grounds.

5. A pregnancy may be artificially terminated on health grounds with the woman’s consent, or at her instigation, if her life or health or the healthy development of the fetus are endangered, or if fetal development manifests genetic anomalies.

6. (1) In the case of a woman who has not yet reached the age of 16, artificial termination of pregnancy in accordance with Section 4 may be performed with the consent of her legal representative or of the person who has been assigned responsibility for bringing her up.

(2) If artificial termination of pregnancy in accordance with Section 4 has been performed on a woman between 16 and 18 years of age, the health establishment shall notify her legal representative.

Procedure for dealing with artificial termination of pregnancy

7. The woman shall make a written request for artificial termination of pregnancy to the gynaecologist of the health establishment serving her place of permanent residence, place of work, or school. The gynaecologist shall inform the woman of the possible health consequences of artificial termination of pregnancy and instruct her in the use of methods and means of contraception. If the woman insists on artificial termination of pregnancy and the gynaecologist finds that the conditions therefor are satisfied, he shall specify the health establishment where the operation is to be performed.

8. (1) If the gynaecologist does not find that the conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy (Sections 4 and 5) are satisfied, the woman may within three days make a written request for his decision to be reviewed by the district specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics, who shall review the request within two days of its being submitted. In reviewing the request the specialist shall call on the assistance of two further specialists in that field, and if necessary specialists in other relevant fields. If he finds that the conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy are satisfied, he shall inform the woman and specify the health establishment where the operation is to be performed.

(2) If the district specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics does not find that the conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy are satisfied, but the woman still insists on the operation, he shall immediately forward her written request for review to the regional specialist in gynaecology and immediately forward her written request for review to the regional specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics, who shall call on the assistance of two further specialists in that field, and if necessary specialists in other relevant fields, and shall review the request within three days of its being submitted. If he does not find that the conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy are satisfied, he shall give the woman written notification of the result of the review, which shall be final, but if the conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy are satisfied, he shall follow the same procedure as specified in subsection 1 for the district specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics.

9. The procedures laid down by this Law shall not be subject to the general provisions on administrative procedures.

Artificial termination of pregnancy for aliens

10. Artificial termination of pregnancy in accordance with Section 4 shall not be performed in the case of aliens who are resident only temporarily in the Czech socialist Republic.

Payment of a supplementary charge or fee for artificial termination of pregnancy

11. (1) In such cases as are laid down by legal provisions of general scope, the woman shall pay a supplementary fee to the health establishment for artificial termination of pregnancy performed in accordance with Section 4.

(2) Payment for artificial termination of pregnancy in the case of aliens shall be regulated by special provisions.

Delegation of powers

12. The Ministry of Health of the Czech Socialist Republic shall issue universally binding legal provisions that lay down in detail the conditions for artificial termination of pregnancy, the procedures for dealing with artificial termination of pregnancy, the amount of supplementary fees, and the conditions under which they are to be paid. These provisions shall also determine those categories of aliens on which artificial termination of pregnancy may be performed for a fee.

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Notification of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Socialist Republic of 7 November 1986 on the implementation of the Law No. 66/1986 on abortion.

Requirements for abortions

1.  Health grounds on the basis of which an abortion may not be undertaken at the request of the woman are:

(a)  a health condition that substantially increases the risk to health (contraindication) in combination with an abortion, and in particular an inflammatory disease;

(b) an abortion that was performed during the last six months with the exception of cases in which:

1) the woman has already given birth twice or

2) the woman is 35 years old or

3) there is a founded suspicion that the woman has become pregnant following a crime committed against her.

2.  (1)  A register of illnesses, syndromes, and conditions that constitute  health grounds for the performance of an abortion are contained in an annex to this notification [not reproduced below].  After 12 weeks of pregnancy an abortion can only be performed if the life of the woman is threatened or when it is proven that the fetus is severely damaged or incapable of life.

(2)  If there are genetic grounds for the abortion, the operation can be performed at the latest at the beginning of the 24th week of pregnancy.

3. (1)  An abortion can be performed on a woman on health grounds with her consent if this is suggested by the health establishment or the pregnant woman and the health condition is certified.

(2)  The head of the department of the health establishment that is responsible for illnesses, or his legal representative, is responsible for establishing the health ground for the abortion.

(3)  If the suggestion for the abortion originates in the health establishment and the woman refuses to give her consent she shall provide a written statement.

Procedures for the management of abortions

4. (1)  The gynecologist in the responsible health establishment of the permanent residence of the woman, or her place of work or school (“physician”), to whom the woman has directed her written request for the abortion shall examine the woman, determine the length of pregnancy, establish whether health grounds exist that oppose the abortion (contraindications) and make a record of his findings. The length of the pregnancy shall be determined in complete weeks beginning with the first day of the last menstrual period.  The woman shall certify in writing to the health establishment that the physician has shared his findings with her, as well as that he has instructed her on the possible health consequences of the abortion and the nature and kind of the methods and means used for the abortion.

(2)  The form “Request for an abortion, for the performance of the abortion, and for the examination of the findings” shall be used for requests for abortions and further actions.

(3)  The woman may withdraw her request or her consent up to the beginning of the abortion. The physician shall make a note in the health records of the woman.

5.  (1)  The consent of the legal representative or the person who is responsible for rearing the woman (“legal representative”) is necessary if she has not reached sixteen years of age;  the consent of the legal representative is also necessary if an abortion on health grounds is performed on such a woman.

(2)  If the consent of the legal representative is necessary for the abortion, this shall be added to the health records.

6.  Places for the performance of abortions and the duties of workers in health establishments

(1) The physician or district or community physician for gynecology and obstetrics shall designate stationary public health establishments competent for the performance of abortions.  At the wish of the woman, another stationary public health establishment can be designated if it is connected with the designated establishment.

(2)  The health establishment shall perform the operation without delay; the woman shall be notified of the time of the performance when she presents her request with the findings of the physician or the person who has examined the findings.

(3) Immediately after the performance of the operation on a woman between the ages of 16 and 18 who requests an abortion, the health establishment shall in an appropriate manner either orally or in its own writing inform the legal representative of the woman.

7.  The health establishment in which the abortion is performed shall within 5 days of each month prepare a record on this for the district physician of gynecology and obstetrics responsible for the permanent residence of the woman as well as for the statistical work of the district department of people’s health.  The health establishment shall send a separate report on this to the community physician of gynecology and obstetrics responsible for the permanent residence of the woman.

 

8.  All participating workers have a duty of confidentiality with respect to all circumstances of which they gain knowledge in connection with an abortion and which concern the justified interests of the woman.

 

9.  If an abortion is not performed on health grounds and the pregnancy has been established as of more than 8 weeks’ duration, the woman shall pay the health establishment a fee of 500 Kcs for the performance of the operation.

 

10.  Abortions for foreigners.

 

(1)  The residence of foreign women who work in organs and organizations with their headquarters in the Czech Socialist Republic or of their family members shall not be considered as temporary residence; the same is true with respect to the residence of students and other foreign women who posses a residence permit for foreigners according to international agreements.  The health establishment has a duty to demand the presentation of the corresponding documents.

 

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