Reacts to a “startling” abortion proposal from Labour
The Christian Democrats, the Centre Party and the Conservatives all react to that Labour’s health policy spokesperson, Ingvild Kjerkol, challenges her party to extend the limit for self-determined abortion to week 18 in Norway. “Startling and disturbing”, says Bollestad.
“The abortion committees entail that women experience being under guardianship. Norwegian public health service is supposed to provide better health, the committees do not provide women with that, “Kerkol speaks to resounding applause from the Labour delegates during the National Convention at the party’s headquarters (Folkets Hus) in Oslo on Friday.
Labour is moving towards extending the limit for self-determined abortion. On Saturday, the party may decide to extend it to 18 weeks into pregnancy.
Two local teams in Oslo in addition to AUF in Hordaland and Troms have jointly submitted a proposal for this at this year’s National Convention.
It soon became known that Kjerkol has taken an about turn and supports the proposal.
“Either you have confidence that women can make their own choices, or you don’t. I’m for self-determined abortion until week 18,” she tells Adresseavisen.
“Extending self-determined abortion to week 18 is both startling and disturbing. We save prematurely born children down to week 20-21,” acting party leader of the Christian Democrats, Olaug Bollestad, informs NTB. She believes self-determined abortion until week 18 will entail weakened legal protection for the foetus.
Temporary leader of the Women’s Political Network of the Conservatives, Guro Angell Gimse, tells VG that today’s law is a good compromise between women’s self-determination and the legal protection of the child.
“It happens quite a lot with a foetus from week 12 to 18. A woman may begin to feel stirring life at that time, as well. There is a reason why we have that limit.”
No discussion in the Centre Party
Health policy spokesperson of the Centre Party, Kjersti Toppe, reacts as well:
“I hadn’t thought that this could come from Labour. the Centre Party stands behind today’s Abortion Act. There is no discussion among us regarding this,” writes Kjersti Toppe in an email to VG. She adds that the only thing that they do not support is the reduction of healthy foetuses that was implemented in 2016.
Kjerkol responds to the reactions that “No one goes through late abortion because they want to, but because they need to.”
“When 99.7 per cent of all applications for such abortion is granted, we have, in practical terms, already an abortion limit of 18 weeks. Most do, however, go through abortion as early as possible,” she continues.
Advocates not to support the proposal
Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, on his part, urges the National Convention not to open up for self-determined abortion until week 18.
“I will warn against that we throw such an important issue for Norwegian women and Norwegian men into the debate during a hectic National Convention,” the party leader summarizes the debate so far.
Støre states that he is against changing the Abortion Act, while he understands that the debate is being pushed to the front.
“This is put into play by Erna Solberg, who last autumn wanted significant changes to the Abortion Act, and now leads a government with parties who want that. Then it is not unnatural that women in the Labour Party look at whether the Act works as it should,” he continues.
“A possible change of Labour’s position regarding abortion will, however, become part of the party’s program process leading up to 2021,” Støre clarifies.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today