Women in Swizerland may
soon obtain the right to decide for themselves whether or
not to have an abortion
Press Release from USPDA (Union suisse pour decriminaliser
l'avortement/Swiss Union for Decriminalizing Abortion)
On April 7, the Judiciary Committee of the Swiss Senate
(Conseil des Etats) has approved a bill providing for abortion
on request in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The bill
will go to the Senate floor in June. A very similar bill
has already been adopted by the National Council (Conseil
national, House of Representatives) in Autumn 1998.
Anti-abortionists have threatened to fight the proposal
with a referendum, should it pass both Houses. They also
have tabled a referendum asking for total prohibition of
abortion. So there will most probably be a plebiscite in
2001. The Swiss Union for decriminalizing abortion is optimistic
that the Swiss electorate will approve abortion on request.
Opinion polls of the last few years have consistently shown
a majority in favour.
Under actual legislation, abortion is only allowed for medical
reasons and women must obtain the consent of two doctors
to be allowed to interrupt an unwanted pregnancy. In practice,
though, abortion has become ever more easily available over
the past 25 years.
From Anne-Marie Rey, co-president USPDA (Union suisse pour
decriminaliser l'avortement / Swiss Union for Decriminalizing
For more information in German and French: www.svss-uspda.ch