1st Edition

Abortion and Reproductive Rights in Slovenia A Case of Resistance

    172 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Abortion and Reproductive Rights in Slovenia: A Case of Resistance provides a detailed and in-depth analysis of the situation of sexual and reproductive rights in Slovenia.

    This important intervention comes at a time when sexual and reproductive rights in Slovenia and around the world are assailed by populist and neoconservative discourses. The authors provide a detailed account of the history of the struggle for reproductive rights, particularly the struggles for access to safe abortion, insights based on interviews with fellow activists and an analysis of Slovenian public opinion on abortion in a temporal and comparative perspective. The scholar-activist authors put the issue of sexual and reproductive rights at the forefront of the social, political and scientific agenda in the name of collectivity and solidarity, reinforcing the potential apparent within civil society and social movements.

    This work will be of interest to researchers and activists with an interest in gender and reproductive rights in contemporary Europe.

    List of figures

    List of tables




    1 The history of the struggle for the right to abortion


    2 The right to access safe abortion during the transition to a multiparty system and beyond


    3 Reproductive and sexual rights – an activist perspective


    4 "What do you think about abortion?" Slovenian public opinion on abortion in longitudinal and international perspective





    Ana Kralj is assistant professor of social work at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her main areas of research and teaching focus on migration, interethnic relations, nationalism, "othering" and gender studies.

    Tanja Rener is emeritus professor of sociology of families and women’s studies at the University of Ljubljana, where she teaches Utopistics: alternatives of social development.

    Vesna Leskošek is professor of social work at the University of Ljubljana. She teaches courses on gender and violence, care regimes and social movements. Her main research interests are poverty, social inequality, welfare state and gender, and her latest research project focuses on the poverty of women in old age.

    Metka Mencin is assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Ljubljana. Her research interests include processes of subjectivation and identity construction in the context of dominance and subordination, neoliberal governmentality and the genealogy of critical psychology.

    Mirjana Ule is professor of social psychology and founder of the Center of Social Psychology at the University of Ljubljana. Her main research topics are youth studies, gender studies, health studies, life course and identity studies, and studies of marginalization and discrimination.

    Slavko Kurdija is senior scientific associate of social science methodology at the Center for Public Opinion and Mass Communication Research at the University of Ljubljana. He is also the national coordinator of the European Social Survey in Slovenia and the head of the Infrastructure Center (IC): Program for the Comparative Social Research, part of the Network of Infrastructure Centers at the University of Ljubljana.

     "Opponents of women’s reproductive rights have evolved numerous techniques to combat abortion over the past three decades, but never have they been more sophisticated than in recent years. Social media, fake news, and the rise of the anti-gender movement pose significant new barriers to the protection of rights that have already been established. The methods presented in this monograph to effectively defend women's rights to make decisions about their own bodies, as well as the precise and profound genealogy of reproductive rights, are of the utmost importance in a post-Trump world, for it is now more true than ever that no right won is won forever".

    Roman Kuhar, Professor of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

    "This new book by a team of distinguished Slovenian social scientists should be of high interest to anyone who cares about women’s reproductive rights and women’s equal rights in general. Taking Slovenia as their case study, setting it in a comparative context, they show how a conservative backlash, led in Slovenia by the Catholic Church, instrumentalized the term "gender ideology" concocted by Pope John Paul II, in order to claim, falsely, that one cannot speak of a person’s gender identity separate from that person’s sexual organs and to insist that only heterosexual relationships should be sanctioned. Based on extensive research, including interviews with local pro-choice activists, this volume makes a significant contribution to understanding the struggle over women’s access to abortion".

    Sabrina P. Ramet, Professor Emerita, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

    "This is a much needed book in light of the coercion by populist-authoritarian politics, religious institutions and conservative groups who aim at regaining control over reproductive rights all over the world. It is refreshing to read a book that moves beyond the analysis of conservative reversals to foreground rebel against the reinstating of classical patriarchal family order. Analyzing the struggles in Slovenia, the authors show how these succeeded in obtaining access to safe and legal abortion, stimulating us to consider the options we have for the present and the future. This is a must read for anyone wanting to learn about why and how sexual and reproductive rights must constantly be defended".

    Mojca Pajnik, Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana and Senior Research Adviser at the Peace Institute

    "A right to abortion has historically always been denied to women, not least to discipline women and their bodies. To this day, reproductive rights are contested around the world. The book on abortion in Slovenia is therefore timely and provides paradigmatic insights into arguments against abortion as well as resistance to prohibition. In doing so, it also points to ways of resisting discipline. An important volume to think about women’s bodies, rights, and resistance".

    Birgit Sauer, Professor of Political Science, University of Vienna, Austria

    "This set of well-researched essays offers a breath-taking vision of the way reproductive rights depend on the way feminist movements challenge and resist political regimes, whether socialist or, more recently, combinations of neoliberalism, conservatism and nationalism. The book combines careful and impressive historical analysis of women’s struggle for abortion rights with insightful interpretation of contemporary national and international public opinion data. The core is formed by a chapter based on a rich range of interviews with feminist activists and political activists in Slovenia. Their voices make the struggle for reproductive rights tangible and inspiring".

    Berteke Waaldijk, Professor of Language and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands