The Finnish Parliament voted to approve amendments to Finnish abortion legislation by a margin of 125 to 41. One of the outcomes of the reform will be that a pregnancy may be terminated up to the end of the 12th week of gestation by the pregnant woman’s request. It has previously been necessary to obtain statements from two separate physicians.
“It is about time to amend our abortion legislation, which hasbeen out of date for a while. This is an important reform for improving women’s rights to their own health and bodily autonomy,” says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality.
“Unfortunately we are currently witnessing a regression in equality and women’s rights in various parts of the world.This becomes evident particularly in matters related to female sexual health and reproductive rights. This is a highly concerning trend and thereby it is particularly important that Finland concretely demonstrate its support for legal and safe abortions,” Blomqvist says.
The abortion legislation reform does not form part of the government programme, but is mainly based on a citizens’ initiative (OmaTahto2020) and a related bill.
“I am pleased that we are planning to take this important step towards modernising our abortion legislation, but I believe it should still be revised to further improve women’s autonomy in Finland. A wider abortion reform should be one of the explicit targets of the next government,” Blomqvist says.