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Abortion law

Women in Swizerland may soon obtain the right to decide for themselves whether or not to have an abortion
Press Release from USPDA (Union suisse pour decriminaliser l'avortement/Swiss Union for Decriminalizing Abortion)

On April 7, the Judiciary Committee of the Swiss Senate (Conseil des Etats) has approved a bill providing for abortion on request in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The bill will go to the Senate floor in June. A very similar bill has already been adopted by the National Council (Conseil national, House of Representatives) in Autumn 1998.

Anti-abortionists have threatened to fight the proposal with a referendum, should it pass both Houses. They also have tabled a referendum asking for total prohibition of abortion. So there will most probably be a plebiscite in 2001. The Swiss Union for decriminalizing abortion is optimistic that the Swiss electorate will approve abortion on request. Opinion polls of the last few years have consistently shown a majority in favour.

Under actual legislation, abortion is only allowed for medical reasons and women must obtain the consent of two doctors to be allowed to interrupt an unwanted pregnancy. In practice, though, abortion has become ever more easily available over the past 25 years.

From Anne-Marie Rey, co-president USPDA (Union suisse pour decriminaliser l'avortement / Swiss Union for Decriminalizing Abortion)

For more information in German and French: www.svss-uspda.ch

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