Dutch Senate opens way for abortion pill via family doctor


Western Europe


Women who want to terminate their pregnancy will be able to acquire an abortion pill from their family doctor soon. They no longer have to go to a special abortion clinic to get it. After the Dutch Lower House approved a bill to that end, now also the Senate passed the proposal this week.

The Senate approved the draft with a large majority. It was a private members’ initiative of the ruling Liberal parties D66 and VVD and opposition parties PvdA and GroenLinks. They find it essential to “give a woman more freedom of choice.”

Currently, women must go to one of the sixteen abortion clinics in the Netherlands if they want to terminate their pregnancy, the Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad writes. An abortion pill can terminate a pregnancy up to nine weeks. It consists of two medications that must be taken within a few days.

Only a few parties voted against the proposal. Among them were the right-wing PVV party, the Reformed SGP party, the Christian Union and the far-right party Forum for Democracy. In total, they amounted to thirteen seats out of 75.

It remains unclear when the law will go into effect. According to a spokesperson of Health Minister Ernst Kuipers, this might take a while. Once every seven years, the law will be evaluated.



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