The National Council in Switzerland has rejected a proposal by a Green member of parliament to remove abortion from the Penal Code.
The procedure has been allowed since 2002 in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if the woman claims she is in distress, The Standard reports, adding that the fact that abortion is “in the penal code means that an abortion is fundamentally regarded as a reprehensible thing and only secondarily as a health decision.” Those who opposed the initiative argued that there had been no criminal prosecution in connection with an abortion for about 20 years and that the current time-limit regulation had proven its worth.
The same solution is also applicable in Austria, where abortion has been exempt from punishment since 1 January 1975, but only under certain conditions. This is regulated by the Penal Code. During the first three months, pregnancy may be terminated after medical consultation. There is no time limit, for example, if there is “a serious risk that the child will be seriously mentally or physically harmed.”
Across the ocean, in the USA, the state of Florida plans to ban abortion after the sixth week, which has so far been condemned by the US government.