DENMARK – Denmark will extend the legal time limit for abortion from 12 to 18 weeks and omit parental consent for 15-17 year olds

Denmark will extend from 12 to 18 weeks of pregnancy the legal upper limit for voluntary termination of pregnancy and will replace the five regional abortion consultations with a new national abortion board, to avoid local differences, the Ministry of Health announced on 3 May 2024. In addition, young women aged 15 to 17 will have the right to have an abortion without parental consent, as the legal age of consent is 15.

“After 50 years, it is time for the rules on abortion to evolve and for us to strengthen women’s right to self-determination and for the abortion rules to keep up with the times,” said Danish Minister of the Interior and Health, Sophie Løhde, quoted in a statement.

The right to abortion was introduced in Denmark in 1973. Last autumn, a majority of the members of the Ethics Council recommended extending the upper time limit to 18 weeks, as in Sweden.

The three-party government agreed on the move with two left-leaning parties, the Socialist People’s Party and the Red-Green Alliance, and two centre parties, the Social Liberals and the Alternative. The agreement is to be sealed by a vote in parliament. No date for that was announced, but it is considered all but certain to pass because the government has a majority.

The change is expected to enter into force only on 1 June 2025.

SOURCES: abc news, by Jan M Olsen/AP, 3 May 2024 ; Le Monde with AFP, 3 May 2024 ; Politico.eu, by Claudia Chiappa, 3 May 2024 + PHOTO by Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images