In May 2013, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia submitted to the Parliament a draft law on termination of pregnancy, to be passed in a summary procedure. Soon it became clear that the summary procedure served to shrink the space for criticism. Abortion was to remain legal, but its previous accessibility was drastically restricted by, inter alia, a bureaucratization and prolongation of the request procedure. Despite protests, the Parliament passed the law only 20 days after receiving its draft. Neither the succeeding appeals to the President of Macedonia not to sign the decree nor the demand to the Constitutional Court to review the law’s constitutionality bore fruit.
The chapter argues that this case is exemplary for the disturbing factual suspension of the already fragile democracy in Macedonia. In light of the massive illegal state-organized wiretapping and power abuse which were revealed in February 2015, the easiness and speed with which this profound obstacle to gender equality was installed are not surprising. The restriction of the freedom of choice regarding childbirth witnesses, in fact, of the much broader restriction of the human rights and freedoms which has taken place in Macedonia in the past decade.