Hi-jacked: the minimal changes to the Belgian abortion law due to ‘political compromise’
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 24, 2018
Commentary by Carine Vrancken, LUNA Abortion Centre, Hasselt, Belgium
Since mid-2016, several Belgian opposition political parties have submitted bills to change the abortion law. Some of them have been uncomplicated (take the existing text out of the penal code and put it in a civil law, without changing the content) while others have proposed a substantial change (take abortion out of the penal code, allow abortion on request up to the 20th week of pregnancy and get rid of the required 6-day waiting period between the request for abortion and the procedure). In the spring of 2017 the Flemish liberal party (Open VLD), a member of the majority coalition in the parliament, also submitted a bill (take abortion out of the penal code, reduce the waiting period to 48 hours, and allow abortion on request up to the 18th week of pregnancy). There were three other bills as well, in total six different bills.