DENMARK – Danish teenagers may soon be able to consent to their own abortions at age 15

It has been 50 years since Denmark legalised abortion. On the date of the 50th anniversary, Marie Bjerre, the Minister for Equality, announced that the age limit for abortion without parental consent would be lowered from 18 to 15, in line with the country’s age of consent. “The government wants young women to be able to decide over their own bodies and lives. They must be able to make the choice themselves about whether to have an abortion,” she said.

Charlotte Wilken-Jensen, a chief physician at an obstetrics department, welcomed Bjerre’s statement: “We have a society where the sexual minimum age is 15, and to imagine that young people, who can have sex with each other quite legitimately, cannot also have the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, does not add up.”

Denmark was among the first countries in Western Europe to legalise abortion in 1973. Before that, everyone needed approval from a doctor to have an abortion.

The Equality Rapporteur for the right-wing Danish Democrats, Susie Jessen, did not agree: “I believe that the change [will] drive the parents to the sidelines”… or leave young girls alone,” Yet she also acknowledged that: “We already have abortion consultations that [young girls] can go to and get support from if they don’t want to involve their parents.”

The book “The Danish Way of Raising Teens”, whose cover is illustrated above, sets out ten recommendations by Danish parents for raising teenagers. The first recommendation is “Trust them”.

SOURCES: Reuters, 25 May 2023 ; Belfast Telegraph, by Lisa Salmon, 31 May 2023 ; Christian Network Europe News, 30 May 2023