Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet proposes new abortion rules, backed with fines

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Women who wish to have an abortion will need to go through a three-day "reconsideration period" after they consult with doctors, according to an amendment to the Genetic Health Law (優生保健法) proposed by Cabinet yesterday.

"This amendment will help maintain quality medical services and help pregnant women make sure they don't make a decision they may regret later," Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.

According to the proposed amendment, doctors must offer counseling services to those women who come to them seeking an abortion. Then, women who wish to have abortions must undergo a three-day "re-consideration period" to make sure they really want the procedure.

In addition, married women are required to inform their spouse of the abortion and obtain agreement, unless their spouse is dead, has a mental disorder, or is missing.

Finally, after the waiting period, women who decide to proceed with an abortion have to sign an declaration saying they want the procedure, before it can be legally performed, the new amendment said.

Those women who violate any of the new rules outlined in the amendment could be liable for fines from NT$30,000 to NT$150,000.

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