24.04.2007

Women on Waves disappointed about new license

 

Every year 20 million illegal abortions are preformed and 70 000 women die needlessly as a result of illegal abortions. Women on Waves takes action and fights for safe and legal abortion.

Yesterday the Ministry of Heath gave Women on Waves a new license to perform abortions, that in many ways is a step back compared to the license that Women on Waves used to have.

Women on Waves already had permission to provide medical abortions to women with unwanted pregnancies till 6 and half weeks pregnancy on board the ship in the international waters. This permit was given on basis of the good quality of healthcare guaranteed by Women on Waves.

The first license, given by the former Christian democratic government, allowed us to provide abortion services in the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy) but was restricted to Amsterdam. We appealed the restriction in the high court. The high court decided that this restriction was legally not correct and destroyed the license. Women on Waves expected to receive a new license for abortion services in the first trimester without any restrictions. But the new license only allows for medical abortion until the 7th week of pregnancy and has some other similar restrictions as the license that was destroyed on the indication of the High court.

There is no medical or legal reason why women on waves is not allowed to provide abortion services after 7 weeks of pregnancy and the restrictions in the new license violate the high courts decision.

In order to be able to protect women’s lives and health, Women on Waves will take further legal steps to fight the new restrictions in the license.

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