A recent eOpinion survey conducted for DR shows that 48 percent of Danes believe that the abortion limit should not be raised. Less than a third think it should.
The abortion debate had long been dormant in Denmark, and there had been no change to the 12-week limit since abortion was legalized 50 years ago.
Last year, however, the Roe vs. Wade ruling, which ensured women’s right to abortion, was overturned in the United States. It started the public and political debate on the matter, especially after Venstre and Enhedslisten raised the issue in Jyllands-Posten in August last year.
Several of Denmark’s neighboring countries have much higher abortion limits. Sweden, for example, has a limit of 18 weeks. That said, most European countries have chosen to set their limits at 12 weeks.
Venstre and Enhedslisten called on the Danish Council of Ethics last year to reassess the legislation on abortion. The council has since said it will publish a recommendation on the abortion limit this summer.
The Danish Democrats are aware that they do not want the border changed. Most other lots are still undecided.
Among those awaiting the Ethics Council’s recommendation are the three parties that make up the government coalition: the Liberals, the Moderates and the Social Democrats.
So why change the limit?
Enhedslist’s equality advisor Rosa Lund, who fights for a higher abortion limit, has given several reasons for her position.
One of these is how a nuchal translucency scan – a test that can pick up chromosomal abnormalities in a fetus – can only be done from the 12th week of pregnancy.
Lund’s opinions are echoed by organizations such as Sex and Society, the Danish Women’s Association and the Danish Society for Obstetrics.
Health spokesperson for the Danish Democrats, Jens Henrik Thulesen Dahl, disagrees.
“There has to be time to find out you’re pregnant, and you have to have time to think,” Dahl said. “But on the other hand, it must also happen as early as possible in the child’s development. The rules we have today are sensibly balanced in relation to the ethical dilemmas involved.”
A bigger picture
What happens if a woman exceeds the limit but still wants an abortion?
As discussed here in CPH POST, an abortion board consisting of a case manager, a psychiatrist and a gynecologist decides whether or not she can have an abortion.
Last year, only 53 out of 803 applications for late-term abortion were rejected.
Source: The Nordic Page