What is happening to the Dutch legal system? It has had a 24-year-old woman under arrest for over a month with no contact with family and friends because she apparently underwent an illegal abortion in Spain.
The public prosecution department says she is a murder suspect because she was over 24 weeks pregnant at the time, the legal limit in the Netherlands.
The woman is alleged to have had the abortion in a private clinic in Barcelona where the legal limit is 22 weeks.
Today Women on Waves, which fights for women’s right to legal and safe abortions, has sent a letter to public prosecution chiefs and justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin demanding the woman be freed.
The letter has been signed by 250 people including prominent women such as top lawyer Britta Böhler and former minister Hedy d’Ancona. Just why the charge against her is so severe is unclear.
Dutch law does not specifically state that aborting a foetus after 24 weeks will be treated as murder. Furthermore, a crime which takes place abroad is only punishable in the Netherlands if the law states so explicitly, which is apparently not so in this case.
So just what is Dutch justice up to? Perhaps this God-fearing government is making her an example to soften us up for a move to toughen up the abortion law?
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation