Abortion: the legal right has been won, but not the moral right.

Abstract:

:In 1978 the abortion law was liberalised in Norway. It permits abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and after that with the agreement of a medical commission, taking the woman's own views into consideration. In 2003, 96% of abortions took place before 12 weeks of pregnancy. There is considerable support among the population for the current law, and the right to abortion does not seem to be under threat, yet opponents of abortion attack the law frequently. Debates on recent biotechnology laws and difficulties introducing the abortion pill, on the spurious grounds that it would make abortion too easy, imply continuing moral qualms about abortion. While abortion among young, unmarried women is more accepted, many married women feel they have to justify their decision. Women are expected to feel sorrow, shame and guilt because of their sexual conduct for many reasons, but especially if the result is an unwanted pregnancy. It is easier to protect the law when there is recognition of the moral right to choose abortion. The legal battle has been won, but winning the moral battle is important in Norway now. I believe that until having an abortion is considered as acceptable morally as using contraception, women will not have gained their full reproductive rights.

journal_name

Reprod Health Matters

authors

Løkeland M

doi

10.1016/s0968-8080(04)24016-2

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2004-11-01 00:00:00

pages

167-73

issue

24 Suppl

eissn

0968-8080

issn

1460-9576

journal_volume

12

pub_type

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