How To Get An Abortion In Iceland

Published March 11, 2024
Words by Catharine Fulton (The útlendingur’s ongoing guide to getting shit done)

Much like wrangling your annual tax return or figuring out how to register your kid for extra-curriculars, navigating the health care system in Iceland can be tricky and frustrating and, sometimes, rage inducing.

But if there is ever a time when you don’t need the extra stress of research or trial and error it’s when you find yourself pregnant. If you are a pregnant person planning on carrying a foetus to term, then your first stop should be your neighbourhood Heilsugæslan, where you will be paired with a midwife to oversee your care. Nota bene: you are in control, so if you don’t like the care you receive from your assigned midwife, it is your right to request another midwife to take over your care.


Iceland – Two Conservative MPs Disagree Over Abortion Issue

Published November 17, 2020
by Jess Distill

Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir says that she disagrees with her party colleague, Ásmundur Friðriksson, who says too many abortions are being carried out in Iceland. Vísir reports.

A heated debate arose in Parliament on the parliamentary proposal, submitted by Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir, which would permit women from Europe who are not allowed to undergo abortions in their home country to be able to travel to Iceland for the procedure.


Abortion Bill Passed in Icelandic Parliament

Abortion Bill Passed in Icelandic Parliament

By Jelena Ćirić
Posted May 14, 2019

The Icelandic parliament passed a bill which legalises the termination of a pregnancy within the first 22 weeks regardless of circumstances. Abortion was previously legal within the same timeframe, however a person’s decision to terminate a pregnancy after the 16th week required approval by a committee. That decision is now solely in the hands of the pregnant person.

The bill was passed with 40 votes against 18. Three MPs abstained from the vote and two were absent. All members of the Progressive Party, Pirate Party, Social Democratic Alliance, Left Green Movement, and Reform Party voted for the bill. All Centre Party and People’s Party MPs voted against the bill, excepting Anna Kolbrún Árnadóttir of the Centre Party, who abstained.


Iceland’s Parliament Passes Landmark Abortion Law

Iceland’s Parliament Passes Landmark Abortion Law

Published May 14, 2019
Andie Fontaine

Last night, Iceland’s Parliament passed a hotly contested bill into law which allows for an abortion until the end of the 22nd week of pregnancy.

Kjarninn reports that the law was passed with 40 votes in favour, 18 against, three abstentions and two absences.


Iceland – Changes Proposed to Abortion Laws

Changes Proposed to Abortion Laws

By larissa kyzer
October 26, 2018

Health Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir has decided to submit a bill to parliament which, if approved, would change the legal terms for abortion in Iceland. RÚV reports that the new bill would extend the time limits that are currently in place regarding abortion and allow women to have the procedure done up to the 22nd week of their pregnancy. The bill would also allow women to get abortions for any reason, rather than only under certain approved circumstances, as is currently the case.

Under current law, women are only permitted to have an abortion up to the 16th week of pregnancy if there are specifically approved health reasons or for ‘social reasons,’ such as if the pregnancy is the result of a rape. The existing law also allows for abortions after the 16th week if there is a threat to the woman’s health, or high likeliness that the fetus will be born with deformities or genetic or birth defects.


Finland has Nordic region’s lowest abortion rate

THL: Finland has Nordic region's lowest abortion rate
Fewer abortions are performed in Finland per capita than in other Nordic countries, according to preliminary figures from the National Institute for Health and Welfare used in a recent study at the University of Oulu.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL, reports that abortions among those under 20 years of age have declined steeply in recent years, and are now at half the level of the early 2000s. The agency's senior planning officer Anna Heino says there are many reasons for the downturn.

"Municipalities have invested in bringing the number down, health information classes have been obligatory in school since the early 2000s and the internet is full of accurate information on reproductive health and contraception," Heino says.

Continued at source:

Ending a Pregnancy Because of Down Syndrome Is Not a Precursor to Eugenics

Ending a Pregnancy Because of Down Syndrome Is Not a Precursor to Eugenics

By Jen Gann
Aug 21, 2017

Over the weekend, Quartz published a post about the prevalence of Down syndrome in Iceland. Drawing statistics from a recent CBS report, Bonnie Rochman, author of The Gene Machine, writes, “In Iceland, nearly every woman who undergoes prenatal testing and whose fetus receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome decides to end her pregnancy.”

Note the word “decides.” No one is forcing women in Iceland to choose abortions — individual women are making those decisions. From this statement of fact, Rochman makes a shaky leap: “In essence, pregnant women in Iceland — and presumably their partners — are saying that life with disability is not worth living.”

Continued at source: The Cut:

Iceland: “What kind of society do you want to live in?”: Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing

"What kind of society do you want to live in?": Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing

By Julian Quinones, Arijeta Lajka, CBS News
Aug 14, 2017

With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.

Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.

Continued at source: CBS News:

Ireland compensates woman forced to travel to Britain for an abortion

Government agreed to pay compensation for trauma to Amanda Mellet after she was forced to obtain a termination of her pregnancy in England

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent, The Guardian

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Ireland has for the first time in its history compensated a woman for the trauma caused by forcing her to travel to Britain for an abortion.

Pro-choice campaigners in the Republic said the Fine Gael-led minority government’s agreement on Wednesday to pay compensation to Amanda Mellet was highly significant.

Mellet and her husband James took their case all the way to the UN’s Human Rights Committee after the couple were forced to obtain a termination of her pregnancy in England.

[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian