Norway’s Liberal Party’s program committee wants to allow self-determined abortions until the 18th week

Guri MelbyPhoto: POOL Foto / Jil Yngland / NTB
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Women should be allowed to decide over their own bodies and not have to appear before the abortion committee until the 18th week, according to a unanimous program committee of the Liberal Party (V).

“We believe it is time to move away from putting women in a very difficult situation, where they have to appear in front of a group of strangers and put something so vulnerable and hurtful in their hands,” Astrid Knutsen Hårstad told news bureau NTB.

Knutsen Hårstad leads the Liberal Women’s Team and sits on the party’s program committee, which presented proposals for the party’s new parliamentary program on Thursday night.

The proposal, backed by a unanimous committee, states:

“The right to self-determined abortion is an important and hard-fought right. It is the woman who should decide if she wants to have children. Therefore, we want to abolish the abortion committees until the 18th week and ensure the right to good advice and follow-up.”

“It is the woman who knows her situation best, and it is the woman and her closest who are best able to assess whether the pregnancy should be carried out or not,” Hårstad said.

Parliamentary positions

The Liberal Party will thus be the fourth party in the Norwegian parliament (Storting) with a program committee that advocates expanding the current self-determined abortion limit.

Earlier this autumn, the program committee in the Red Party (Rødt) proposed extending the right to self-determined abortion to week 22. 

The Socialist Left Party’s (SV) program committee wants to extend the limit to week 16. 

In the Green Party(MDG), a majority in the program committee wants to extend the limit to week 18.

The Conservatives (H) are the only party that wholeheartedly supports the current abortion law. 

The Progress Party(FRP), the Labor Party (AP), and the Center Party (SP) also support today’s abortion law, but their program committees are divided on the issue, newspaper Dagen wrote in October.

Earlier this autumn, Center Party’s leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum invited the major parties in the Storting to come to an abortion agreement to secure the current abortion limit of 12 weeks. 

KRF triggered the abortion debate

Hårstad says that the tightening of abortion regulation that the Christian Democrats (KRF) pushed through in 2019 is partly the reason why the program committee is now in favor of changing the law.

“The fear that someone would restrict abortion rights has probably been a trigger, but this is at least as much about what we see when it comes to restrictions on women’s rights in other countries, including Poland and the United States. It makes you feel that it is really important to stand up for a women’s right to decide for herself,” Hårstad said.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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