Friday, June 18, 2010

Luxembourg Parliament Set to Sweep away Remaining Abortion Restrictions

by Hilary White

LUXEMBOURG, June 17, 2010 ( – Some Members of the Luxembourg Parliament are attempting to sweep away the last remaining restrictions on abortion in the principality by inserting a so-called “social indicator” in the list of legal justifications for abortion. The group warns that the Luxembourg parliament plans to create “a comprehensive liberalization of abortion before 15 July 2010.”

Pat Buckley, European officer for the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said, “The Luxembourg Members of Parliament in 2008 already supported the expansion of the culture of death when they forcibly introduced euthanasia against the will of Grand Duke Henry. They will continue this expansion unless they are stopped.”

Paul von Oldenberg of the Fédération Pro Europa Christiana (FPEC), wrote in an email to pro-life leaders, “The introduction of a so-called ‘social indicator’ is nothing more than abortion on demand” that “leaves the unborn child totally unprotected.”

“The politicians say they only wish to reduce the number of abortions. To prohibit abortion absolutely is the only way to stop the shedding of the blood of innocent children.”

SOSvita is circulating an e-petition asking for support against the proposed changes.

Abortion in Luxembourg is legal up to 12 weeks gestation, and is currently already allowed virtually on demand.

Legal justifications include to “save the life of the pregnant woman” or to “preserve” her “physical or mental health”; in cases of pregnancy due to rape or incest; if the unborn child is thought to be “severely physically or mentally impaired” or for “economic or social reasons.” After 12 weeks gestation, abortion can be allowed “under exceptional circumstances” including a “life threatening risk” for the mother or for “the child to be.”

Currently, women must receive a physician’s certification that her situation meets one of these criteria. The doctor who provides that certification cannot be the same who will be conducting the abortion. Women must also undertake a seven-day “reflection period” and sign a written consent. Minors under 18 cannot have abortions without parents’ consent. Doctors may refuse to conduct an abortion but only if it is deemed that there is no threat to the life of the mother in continuing the pregnancy.

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