Kosovo’s New Constitution Protects Women’s Reproductive Rights

The Constitution of the Republic of Kosova was adopted by the Assembly of Kosova on 11 June. Despite efforts from some religious groups, particularly American “pro-life” groups visiting Kosova in the weeks prior to its adoption, the Constitution protects women’s reproductive rights.

KWN sent a statement to the Constitutional Commission, countering the American delegation’s lobbying efforts. In the letter, KWN stated that Kosova’s Constitution guarantees women’s “right to personal integrity,” which includes “the right to make decisions related to reproduction,” and Article 25 states, “each individual since birth has the right to life.” Critiquing “pro-life” arguments that life begins at conception, KWN remarked, “in cases of miscarriages that occur during the first two or three months of pregnancy, no [religious institution] organizes a funeral.”

Following KWN’s and other letters from Kosovar human rights groups, the Commission did not revise the draft Constitution related to this point. Thus, the Constitution still protects Kosovars’ human rights to reproductive choice, family formation and sexual orientation.