New law about abortion in Switzerland
Danielle Wyss, Family planning counsellor in Lausanne, PLANeS – Swiss Foundation for Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Since 2002, Switzerland has a new regulation about abortion, called « régime du délai ». Abortion is legal within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Before an abortion is performed the doctor has to inform and counsel the woman and give her the addresses of specialized counselling centres where she can receive more information and help. Young women under the age of 16 have to visit a counselling centre before an abortion can be performed. The costs of the abortion are covered by the health insurance.
First experiences in Switzerland with this new law will be presented, i.e. the fact that the decriminalisation has – according to statistics – not increased the number of abortions. Nevertheless, prevention should be developed, particularly in regard to migrant women, and the collaboration with doctors should be reinforced. Furthermore, the first consequences of this law on the implication of family planning centres will be discussed.