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Abortion policy in your country Options
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 7:17:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2012
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I am not (repeat: not) seeking the pros and cons of abortion. (I already have my opinion and nobody can change it. Furthermore, such a debate would ignite such passions that the thread would be deleted by moderators -- and justifiably, too!)

Here in the United States, the matter of abortion causes many people to spend enormous time, effort, and money to get their views enacted into law.

I was just wondering, though, in YOUR country is abortion such a controversial matter?

Thank you,

Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 11:04:32 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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In Iceland I don't think it is contraversial.It is the same as other Nordic countries, pretty much.

Abortion is not available on demand, but is available at up to 12 weeks for reasons including mother's health and social circumstances (including being too young or immature, too many kids, sick family etc etc), as well, as rape, incest, foetal damage etc. if signed off by two doctors, or one doctor and one social worker. After 12 weeks it is stricter, up to 16 weeks. The father is always supposed to sign up to this as well, unless you can prove special reasons why not!

And after 16 weeks- only ever for the immediate life-threatening condition of the mother, and maybe for foetal problems as well, I think.

Iceland has quite a high abortion rate as a result. A lot is teenage pregnancies - the age of consent is 15 (if the other is no more than 10 years older - if so, that proviso only disappears at 18), but until about 6 years ago the age of consent was 14. It was raised because that was considered low for Europe. Most people here are culturally, if not religiously, basically Lutheran, but intrinsically independent - they would never do anything just because the church tells them to. There is sex education in schools and free contraception.

[If you are thinking there is liberal, 'European' (for a stereotype) sexual values, then you should know pornography is banned, and there is an attempt to ban internet porn. There is a growing problem of a sex industry of women trafficked in by Polish and Baltic gangs, with associated gun violence for the first time.]

An abortion has to be done in hospital, and the main hostpital here has a counselling service for it. It is free. Performing any abortion outside an approved hospital is a very serious imprisonable offence. After an abortion it is compulsory to return to the hospital for a medical checkup, and counselling including things like contraceptive advice, social and welfare checks.

Abortion is not desirable - it is certainly not used as a regular 'birth control' measure as it was (still is?) in Eastern Europe. The family is very important here, motherhood is valued. But education levels are high with more women than men graduating university. Average age of having a first baby is mid-twenties. Women's right to control their own lives (and fertility) is assumed. It is a culural thing - women do not take their husband's name on marriage (that is partly because of the patronymic system - a woman has the patronym **sdottir - it would be ridiculous to take the name of a man, **sson! We had a long-serving female president and currently a (gay) female prime minister. That is just cultural background. I don't want to sound as if I can speak for everyone - of course there are variations in views and what is and is not considered acceptable.

And, allowing for differences, luckily if people are anti-abortion, they put forward that view politically - not by bombing the hostpital!

edit - In terms of politics - we are a pretty homogeneous country. Commonly people are politically active and engaged through democratic process. There are lots of political parties, about five or six main ones and others that come and go. There is never a party majority, everything is always coalition and negotiation. Things like abortion are not party political issues, and everyone holds individual views and reaches (hopefully) acceptable compromises. Because of the small scale (basically the country is equivalent to what would be a large town in most countries) things can get easily aired at high level, and decisions get made and enacted quickly, which probably makes us the exception. Of course there is the natural inertia of the system but not the monolith of government, or the power interest groups of religion or any commerical medical industry.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 12:01:57 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,979
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Like thar said,
it's pretty much the same in ALL Nordic countries: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

Addendum: the illegal abortions by quacks are very rare here.
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 3:46:36 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/18/2013
Posts: 7
Location: India
Of course, it's a serious issue in my country too.
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