FREEDOM OF RELIGION, INSTITUTION OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION AND POLITICAL PRACTICE IN POST-COMMUNIST SLOVAKIA
The example of Slovakia is used to show how one of the post-socialist countries failed in fulfilling the demanding task of securing freedom of religious belief (including the right to conscientious objection) and, at the same time, securing all other human rights. An analysis of the methods used for changing the policies of pluralism and neutrality of the state into a policy of discrimination (e.g. concerning the registration duty for churches) was carried out, followed by an analysis of a mechanism used for guaranteeing freedom of conscience of the members of the Catholic Church (the so-called Vatican Treaty). The treaty violates the prohibition of discrimination against women, because it makes it more difficult for them to have access to some health care services. The authoresses' hypothesis states that the hurriedly introduced right to conscientious objection is misused in this context as a means of regulating the politics of reproduction. In general, the re-Catholisation of the Slovak Republic follows two aims - to help in the fight for votes in the elections (because 70 % of Slovaks declare their religion to be Catholic), and to improve demographic development in the Slovak Republic (declared to be catastrophic by the Catholic Church), through hindering free access to abortions.
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