International Safe Abortion Day sees calls for clarity on law in Belgium

International humanitarian organisation Doctors of the World has asked for clarity around abortion laws in Belgium on Thursday, International Safe Abortion Day.

Coordinator Ellen Verryt is urging further steps from parliament to confirm details of Belgium's abortion law. She pointed out that 2019 saw a majority in the House of Representatives for reform of the law. "Four years later, this intention is still a dead letter," she said. "This is a disgrace for all 6 million women in our country. They have a right to know where they stand."

According to Doctors of the World, the current abortion law in Belgium violates the fundamental rights of women and excludes people in vulnerable situations. "This situation needs to end urgently," said Verryt.

Extending time and resources

Doctors of the World wants the time limit for abortion to be raised from 12 to 18 weeks of pregnancy. Green parties Groen and Ecolo announced on Wednesday that they would be presenting a bill to increase the abortion period from 12 to 18 weeks, in line with the advice of the scientific committee. 

According to Ipas, the NGO that seeks to increase access to safe abortions and contraception, 35 million people around the world resort to having an abortion each year using unsafe methods. Ipas has supported communities around the world for 50 years to help ensure access to abortion and contraception. The organisation founded International Safe Abortion Day more than 20 years ago.



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