Finland agrees to legal reform to expand right to abortion

This content was published on Oct 26, 2022 – 14:33

Helsinki, October 26 (EFE). – The Eduskunta (Finnish parliament) this Wednesday by a large majority approved a reform of the abortion law, by far the strictest in the Nordic countries, to provide more rights for women who want to boycott their pregnancy. .

The reform, which updates legislation in force since 1970, was approved by 125 votes to 41 against, and had majority support from all political forces, with the exception of the Finnish far-right party and the Christian Democrats.

According to current legislation, women who wish to have an abortion during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy must obtain authorization from two physicians (or one physician if they are under 17 or over 40) and specify their reasons.

Once the reform comes into effect, expected at the beginning of 2023, a woman will have the right to have an abortion during the same period without giving explanations and it is enough to obtain permission from one doctor.

After twelve weeks, abortion is permitted at the request of the pregnant woman herself if the continuation of the pregnancy or childbirth may endanger her health or life.

The origin of this legal reform goes back to a grassroots initiative introduced at the end of 2020, after collecting the necessary 50,000 signatures, which asked to equate abortion law with the law of many other European countries and give women greater autonomy to decide for themselves.

The text of the popular initiative affirmed that “the right to free and safe abortion is an essential part of a woman’s physical self-determination and the right to decide whether to have her own.”

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According to the Finnish Medical Association Duodecim, the abortion rate in Finland (7.3 per 1,000 women aged 15-49) is internationally low and has been declining in recent years. EFE

JJ / Jam / JGB

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