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4 May, 2024 12:43

EU country to allow 15-year-olds get abortions without parental consent

Denmark will also permit pregnancies to be terminated as late as 18 weeks after conception
EU country to allow 15-year-olds get abortions without parental consent

The Danish government announced on Friday that it will permit women to have their pregnancies terminated until 18 weeks after conception instead of 12. The new legislation marks the first time the Nordic country has eased its abortion rules in 50 years.

Additionally, girls over age 15 will get the right to have an abortion without parental approval. The government lowered the age requirement to keep it in line with the country’s age of consent.

“Choosing whether to have an abortion is a difficult situation, and I hope that the young women can find support from their parents. But if there is disagreement, it must ultimately be the young woman’s own decision whether she wants to be a mother,” Marie Bjerre, Minister for Digitization and Gender Equality, said. 

Currently women under age 18 are allowed to get abortions, but only with parental consent.

The amended Health Act will enter into force on June 1 next year.

Denmark was among the first countries in Western Europe to offer abortions free of charge in 1973, but only permitted them until 12 weeks after conception. Now women will be able to terminate their pregnancies without paying for a longer period of time in Denmark than nearly anywhere else in Europe.

According to the Danish Health Data Authority, the number of terminated pregnancies in the country has not been increasing lately. In 2022 there were 14,700 medical abortions, compared to 14,500 in 2017. The number peaked in 1975, when they were first legalized, at 27,900.

MP Mette Thiesen, from the populist Danish People’s Party, lamented the changes, saying “a terrible day. It’s a terrible new law.” Addressing the Danish broadcaster DR, she explained there is a “very fine balance between the woman’s right to her own body, but also the right to life of the little life that lies in the mother’s womb.”

In March, France became the first nation in the world to constitutionally guarantee that its women can terminate their pregnancies, making the ‘right to abortion’ in France ‘irreversible’.