Wednesday 21 April 2021

MPs vote to scrap pre-abortion waiting time, and to again insure contraception

The Netherlands has never had a female prime minister. Photo: DutchNews.nl

As expected, MPs have voted in favour of a Labour party and GroenLinks motion to remove the compulsory five day wait before women can have an abortion.

The three Christian parties and Denk voted against the proposal.

‘This is a great step in strengthening women’s right to make their own choices at their own speed and in their own way,’ said GroenLinks MP Corinne Ellemeet after the vote.

The wait currently applies to all women who are more than 16 days pregnant and want an abortion. It was included in Dutch abortion law when the practice became legal in early 1980s and has been controversial ever since.

It is unclear what will now happen to the motion, given that health minister Hugo de Jonge has already said he will not deal with any major ethical issues before the March general election.

The rate of abortions compared to live pregnancies in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in the world at 8.8 per 1000 in 2018. Most procedures involved women from 25 to 30 years old  and are carried out before the seventh week of pregnancy.

MPs also voted to put contraceptives, including the birth control pill, back in the basic health insurance package.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.