In Belgium, a draft bill seeking to “extend the legal time limit for abortion and totally lift criminal proceedings” will be debated by Parliament on Thursday.This draft bill was proposed by three socialist MPs, Laurette Onkelinx, Karine Lalieux and Fabienne Winkel.
Paul Forget, President of the Belgian Walk for Life Committee responded. He believes that this bill is “hardly in tune with the concerns of the Belgian people or the real facts”.
For the MPs who proposed the bill, “there has been no drastic rise in abortion over the last 26 years”. Nevertheless, the number of abortions is on the increase, rising from 10,000 abortions in 1993 to 21,500 in 2013, i.e. an increase of 4% per annum. Similarly, the idea “to encourage greater use of contraceptives in order to prevent abortion has been largely disproved by the facts: the use of contraceptives is at an all-time high; so is the number of abortions”. Almost two-thirds of women seeking an abortion have used contraception.
Laurette Onkelinx recognised the fact that “abortion often has repercussions”. So, “wouldn’t it be better to try and reduce access to it?” wondered Paul Forget. Why suggest extending the scope when the Youth Council recently pointed out that “an abortion cannot be reduced to the fact that a woman has made her body available because unless we challenge the idea that a woman is affected by her pregnancy, good sense would dictate to these young people that the child should also be taken into account?”
The Federal Law Evaluation Commission also noted that “the abortion option is often dictated by a precarious social or economic situation or cultural pressure. If they had had a choice, the women would have continued the pregnancy to full-term”. Paul Forget stressed the fact that “it doesn’t take much to extendthe deadline (…)”. Why doesn’t Belgium encourage people to take up the solutions already in place? Assistance for mothers who want to keep their child, simplified adoption procedures, anonymous childbirth and fathers’ responsibilities.
“No-one is taking this light-heartedly”, he explained, “So, let’s summon up the courage to start offering better alternatives in order to ensure that free choice for women doesn’t remain the vain and empty promise it is today”.
Le Vif (14/06/2016)