Thailand Court: Abortion Law Wording Must Be Amended

Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled that the wording of two sections of the Criminal Code regarding abortion should be amended.

The petition came to the court after Srisamai Chueachart, a pro-abortion activist, petitioned that Section 301 and 305 violated the 2017 constitution’s guarantee of equal rights under the law for both men and women.

Section 301, which was ultimately found unconstitutional by the court, states that any “woman” who terminates a pregnancy–either by herself or with the help of another–faces three years in jail and/or a fine up to 60,000 baht.

Srisamai argued that the wording of Section 301 means that only women can be prosecuted for getting an abortion–even in situations where a man pressures or forces them to get rid of the pregnancy.

The court agreed with Srisamai that this violated equal rights for both men and women in the Thai constitution and ordered it to be rewritten.

Srisamai also petitioned against Section 305 of the Criminal Code, which exempts licensed doctors from prosecution if they perform an abortion that is legitimate under exceptions to the abortion law in Thailand–such as pregnancies that could harm the mother or for minors who were raped and became pregnant.

In his petition, Srisamai said that the legal exception didn’t go far enough in protecting the nurses and additional medical professionals who aid in performing the abortion.

Although the Constitutional Court did not find Section 305 unconstitutional, they also ordered that it should be rewritten to conform with the highest laws of the land.

Read the full story here.

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