Developments in legal regulation of abortion in Europe
Adriana Lamackova Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, USA - ALamackova@reprorights.org
While most European countries continue to provide abortion without restriction as to reason and/or on broad grounds, including socio-economic grounds, the past few years have seen a dramatic rise in legal proposals aiming at restricting abortion laws. One type of proposal seeks to eliminate legal grounds for abortion, while the other type of proposal seeks to impose procedural barriers on access to abortion such as mandatory waiting periods and biased counseling requirements. Refusals of care on the grounds of conscience are another procedural barrier significantly affecting women’s access to legal abortion services that has been on the increase in Europe. This presentation will provide an overview of these restrictions that have been adopted in some countries. It will also address standards developed by United Nations and regional human rights bodies, as well as by the World Health Organization with regard to access to abortion.