Sunday 02 April 2023

Senators vote to abolish five day wait before an abortion

Photo: depositphotos

As expected, senators on Tuesday voted in favour of scrapping the five day wait for women seeking an abortion before the operation can be carried out.

Far right and fundamentalist Protestant parties, and four members of the CDA, voted against the plan, which was approved in the lower house of parliament earlier.

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

MPs also voted in March to allow family doctors to prescribe abortion pills but that legislation still has to be processed by the upper house.

At the moment anyone who needs the medicine to terminate a pregnancy in the first nine weeks has to go to an abortion clinic. Around 30,000 abortions take place in the Netherlands each year, with pills used in 31% of cases.

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