New Thai rules allow abortions up to 20th week of pregnancy

BANGKOK – Thailand will allow abortions up to the 20th week of pregnancy under new regulations issued by the Ministry of Public Health, a government spokesman announced on Tuesday.

The regulations, published Monday in the Royal Gazette, took effect on October 26 and liberalize the provisions of a law that went into effect last February allowing the termination of 12 pregnancies for 12 months. first week.

Thailand’s Constitutional Court in February 2020 overturned provisions in the Penal Code banning abortion, claiming they violated the equality of men and women and the right to life and liberty.

Under the new rules, women who want to have an abortion between the 12th and 20th weeks must first consult and get approval from an authorized medical doctor. Until the 12th week, women can arrange to have the procedure done at a medical facility. After the 20th week, the fetus should be full term.

Abortion during the first 12 weeks became legal in Thailand in February 2021 under amendments to the Penal Code. They were previously illegal, with some significant exceptions for cases where the physical or mental health of the mother is at stake, the woman is under 15, or her pregnancy is due to rape or disorder. or the fetus has a serious disability. or deformities.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said the new regulations call for second-trimester consultations to be based on openness and kindness in dealing with pregnancy issues, not behavioral judgments. and women’s decisions, and allows decisions about whether or not abortions should be performed “without bias, coercion and respect for privacy”.

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