Mon, Aug 10, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Decision over abortion should be women’s: study

SOVEREIGNTYAmong other proposals, a report said 18 and 19-year-old unmarried women should be allowed to get an abortion without the consent of their parents

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature’s Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau recently completed a study suggesting that lawmakers amend the Genetic Health Act (優生保健法) to allow married women to choose abortion without having to seek consent from their spouses.

As women have autonomy over their body, they should have the right to decide whether to have children, the report said.

The suggestion ran counter to the regulation in the Act that states that married women must obtain spousal consent before seeking abortion unless their spouse is unconscious or mentally ill.

The bureau, which offers consultation to legislators, also suggested that those who are married should be allowed to obtain a tubal ligation or a vasectomy without the agreement of their spouses, as required by law.

The report said lawmakers should also consider amending the Act to allow 18 and 19-year-old unmarried teenagers to have an abortion without having to obtain approval from their parents.

The report also said unmarried women under the age of 18 should also be allowed to decide whether to go through with an abortion as long as they understand the ramifications of their act.

Under the Act, unmarried women under the age of 20 must obtain permission from their parents to have an abortion.

In related developments, the legislature’s Secretariat said that the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians Union’s annual convention would take place in Taiwan and begin tomorrow as scheduled.

The two-day convention marks the first time Taiwan hosts the event.

Parliamentarians attending the convention are scheduled to sign a joint communique after the summit, the secretariat said.

Delegates from 14 countries will arrive at Taiwan despite the damage caused of Typhoon Morakot, the secretariat said.

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