Thailand Legalizes Early Abortions

by Admin on February 1, 2021

Thailand has legalized early term abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However Thailand law has maintained criminal penalties for abortions that occur after 12 weeks of pregnancy punless the prgnancy falls into a specific exception. Legal abortions however would be punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a 10,000 baht fine.

The amendment was passed by the lower house last week and follows a Constitutional Court from February 2020,decision last February that ruled that designating abortion a criminal offense in Thailand was unconstitutional and violated human rights. Thaland’s previous criminal code provision, imposed imprisonment for up to three years people who have an abortion and five years for tpersons who perform the abortion.

Accoridng to Senator Wanlop Tangkhananurak, part of the motivation for the change was to prevent illegal abortions performed by unlicensed practitioners. Under the new law, abortions falling within the legal requirments may be performed by medical practitioners

The new law allows abortions after 12 weeks if a certified doctor determines that there is a high risk of fetal impairment, danger to the life of the mother, or if a pregnancy was the result of rape, deception or coercion.

Pro-choice activists, however, have expressed dismay that the law does not go far enough. said retaining penalties would maintain the stigma of abortion.

According to Heather barr of Human Rights Watch, Thailand should fully decriminalize abortion.

Nisarat Jongwisan, councillor and activist at Tam Tang, a pro-choice group, stated “We want all penalties to be revoked because it is a person’s right to abort a pregnancy without being punished,”

“The penalties will impede on a person’s access to safe services in Thailand and also tarnish the dignity of those women,” Nisarat Jongwisan said.

Thailand retains strong traditional values that are intrinsic to its Buddhist traditions. Cultural changes moving toward Westerm progressive attitudes have been promoted in Thailand largely by international media and foreign Non-governmental organizations influences in Thailand.

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