Norway Okays Selective Abortion for Foreigners With Twins

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Norway has passed a rule in which women from neighbouring countries who are pregnant with twins are allowed to have selective reduction abortions in the country’s hospitals even with a healthy foetus.

Neighbouring countries of Denmark and Sweden don’t have this law as yet and so pregnant women from these countries can undertake the procedure in Norway now. This move from the Norwegian health ministry has increased the concern about “abortion tourism” in the country but the foreigner women will have to pay for the procedure.

It was in February that the Norwegian Department of Justice ruled in favour of selective abortion for Norwegian women, saying that it should not be treated any differently from any other kind of abortion. Since then several foreign women have already enquired about the procedure in the country hospital of Norway. The new rule will also enable foreign women to opt for the procedure.

Although it comes as a boon for mothers who have been thinking of selective abortion for various reasons, doctors are wary of women going through this as they say the procedure can be a threat to both the mother and the other foetus in her belly.

“We have not found any medical benefit from this. On the contrary, it exposes the second child in the womb to danger as the abortion risk increases,” said Dr Birgitte Heiberg Kahrs, a specialist in foetal medicine at St Olav’s Hospital in Oslo, as reported by Independent.

“Our recommendation was that this should only be allowed for twins if one foetus showed developmental abnormalities, and that it should be done between weeks 12 and 14 to reduce the abortion risk.”

Some of the people who are against this act of selective procedure include two Norwegian political parties, the Christian Democrats and the Centre Party. They want it to be banned. Their argument is that the procedure was not possible when the law on selective abortion was passed in 1978.

Picture credit- BBC