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Thailand rejects 24-week abortion bill, but proceeds with abortion on demand up to 12 weeks

Thai politicians have rejected a proposal to introduce abortion on demand through to 24-weeks, but proceeded with introducing abortion on demand up to 12 weeks.

The new law, which came into effect today, will make abortion legal throughout the first trimester of pregnancy on demand, for any reason, and legal after that point in cases where giving birth poses a physical or mental health risk to the mother, where the baby is disabled, or where the pregnancy is a result of rape.

In January of this year, legislators in Thailand introduced amendments to the previous abortion law with its strong pro-life protections. 

The Move Forward Party (MFP) proposed an alternative law that would have introduced abortion on demand through to 24 weeks, but in the end, the House voted in favour of the cabinet-sponsored bill introducing abortion on demand through to 12 weeks.

Previously, abortion had only been legal in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape,  where giving birth posed a physical or mental health risk to the mother, or where the baby was disabled. Importantly, these provisions mean that abortion was and is available after the first trimester if a physician judges that these criteria have been met.

These changes have come into effect almost a year after a court ruled that the restrictions on abortion were unconstitutional.

The move was opposed by many of Thailand’s conservative Theravada Buddhist population. A number of pro-abortion groups have criticised the move as not going far enough.

Jihan Jacob, a legal adviser for Asia with the Center for Reproductive Rights said: “It is a positive development to have certain legal grounds that allow abortion, but it is not enough to ensure that all pregnant women can access abortion”.

The changes will place Thailand among the more permissive countries on abortion in Southeast Asia, where Vietnam sets no term limits for abortion while the Philippines has a near total ban on abortion.

Change in abortion law across the world

While Thailand moves in the same direction as Argentina, which has also recently removed protections for unborn children, Poland has recently introduced strong pro-life protections in law which forbid discrimination against babies in the womb with disabilities.

Previously, lethal discrimination against disabled babies was permitted in Poland but late last year, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that this discrimination was incompatible with the Constitution of the country.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is saddening to see another country move in this direction, to see another country deny its own citizens the most basic right: the right to life”.

“Britain made this mistake over 50 years ago and since then there have been over 9 million abortions. Thailand has just made the same grave error”.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader, 

Thanks to the support from people like you, in July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth - failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on four separate fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth. A similar law was introduced to New Zealand last year and recently released data shows that the country saw a 43% increase in late-term abortions in 2020.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which will be receiving a Second Reading in the House of Lords on 22 October.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland and abortion campaigners are also running a large campaign to try and introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions to Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

Q

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    Q

    Be the first to know…

    When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

    Action alerts on the latest pro-life developments along with tools to help you change hearts and minds

    Opportunities to help protect and defend more lives

    Where should we send your updates?

      By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms below.

      Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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