Netherlands: Doctors challenge health minister over abortion pill law

September 7, 2016
Photo: Regering.nlPhoto: Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers (Regering.n)
Doctors and pro-abortion campaigners are taking the health insurance ministry to court for failing to provide clear guidelines about the use of a pill which triggers early miscarriage, according to medical journal Medisch Contact.
The doctors disagree with the health inspectorate which says doctors cannot prescribe the pill until the law has changed because they would be committing a criminal offence.
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Additional explanation: Health Minister Edith Schippers has stopped GPs from providing early abortions, which have always been done outside the criminal law and are not subject to the same restrictions, including a 5-day waiting period. Many women prefer to go their GP instead of to a hospital or clinic. But now she's introducing a new law that will require GPs to apply for licences to do early abortions, and they (both early abortions and the doctors) will be subject to the criminal law. This serious deterioration of abortion rights in Holland will lead to reduced access and later abortions.