Finland will expand the right to abortion as the citizens’ initiative progresses in Parliament
CITIZENS ‘INITIATIVE The reform of the Abortion Act is progressing in Parliament, says Helsingin Sanomat.
Markus Lohi Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs and Health (Center) on Monday stated the committee is due to finalize its report on the initiative in September.
The decision on the report will then be taken in the plenary session of Parliament.
The citizens’ initiative contains several changes to a law dating from the 1970s. While it is unlikely that the initiative will be adopted as it stands, some proposed amendments could be made fairly quickly by the legislators. Mia Laiho (NCP), Vice-Chair of the Committee on Social Affairs and Health.
“I understand the vast majority of the committee is in favor of reforming the law in some respects. In the future, a broader, more labor-intensive reform is needed, he told Helsingin Sanomat.
Laiho said that majority support should be found, for example, for the proposal to remove the requirement that a referral from two doctors be required to terminate a pregnancy. Members of other parties also informed the newspaper that the necessary support is likely to be found to remove the claim.
“This is the clearest thing that needs a quick review. Sufficient assessment by one doctor would streamline the process,” Laiho said.
The Greens, the Left Alliance, Movement Now, the Coalition Party, the Social Democrats and the Swedish People’s Party have previously expressed support for the goals of the citizens’ initiative. The center and the Basic Finns are divided, but the only group that has strongly opposed the initiative has been the Christian Democrats.
The center’s conservative opposition party believes abortion denies the unborn child the right to life.
“Abortion laws should be reformed, but I think the reform should be the exact opposite of this initiative: supporting children’s right to life and safeguarding the freedom of thought of health care workers.” Päivi RäsänenChairman of the Christian Democratic Parliamentary Group, claimed in a mission debate on the initiative in May 2021.
Other legislators are ready to go beyond the initiative. Saara-Sofia Sirén (NCP) tweeted on Sunday that he has finalized a proposal to define the right to abortion as a constitutional right.
The debate over abortion has re-emerged in Finland when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Roe v. Wade ruling on Friday that upheld the federal constitutional right to abortion. Abortion has since been banned in at least seven states, and triggering laws come into force in many others. According to The New York Times.
However, state legislators are already facing legal challenges in trying to ban abortion services. A Louisiana judge, for example, blocked a state-triggered law that allowed abortions to continue on Monday.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT