Belgium: majority vote against the decriminalisation of abortion

Publié le 7 Jul, 2017

Six draft bills have been proposed in Belgium. They all seek to review conditions for accessing abortion (see Belgium: first signs of reflection to relax abortion rules). The Justice Commission, which examined these conditions on Tuesday, has decided to postpone the debate indefinitely.


The aim of Open Vld’s[1] proposal is to decriminalise abortion but to penalise any abortion performed outside the legal framework (see Belgium – decriminalisation of abortion would promote “self-determination of women”)Like the other parties, Open Vld proposes extending the time limit for abortion up to 14, 16 and even 20 weeks (currently the 12th week of pregnancy).  The reflection period is being challenged and could be reduced from 6 days to 48 hours. The “distress period” that doctors must observe before performing an abortion is also under debate and could be removed.

From another perspective, several bills put forward by the CD&V[2] and N-VA[3] are aimed at  “making progress in terms of recognition for stillborn babies” (see Belgium: recognition of still-born babies under debate). As the dossier was blocked by Parliament, the Justice Minister announced his decision to submit a bill on this subject before the summer recess.


[1] Flemish Liberals and Democrats

[2] Flemish Christian Democrats

[3] New-Flemish Alliance

Belga (27/06/2017)

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