ICELAND – Progressive changes proposed to the abortion law

Health Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir has decided to submit a bill to parliament which, if approved, would allow abortion on request up to 22 weeks in Iceland, as reported by RÚV. Under current law, women are permitted to have an abortion up to the 16th week of pregnancy if there are specifically approved health reasons or for ‘social reasons’ such as if the pregnancy is the result of a rape. The existing law also allows for abortions after the 16th week if there is a threat to the woman’s health, or a high likelihood that the fetus will be born with deformities or genetic or birth defects.

As in the existing law, the new bill emphasizes that after an abortion has been requested, it should be performed as soon as possible. An announcement from the Ministry of Welfare on this new bill underscored that the bill’s provisions conform to the rights and objectives established in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

SOURCE: Iceland Review, by larissa kyzer, 26 October 2018  ; PHOTO