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Denmark to extend legal limit for abortion to 18 weeks

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Denmark plans to extend the legal limit for abortion from 12 to 18 weeks, the health ministry said on Friday, a move that comes as several countries seek to restrict access to abortion.

“After 50 years, it’s time for the rules governing abortion to change and to strengthen women’s right to decide,” Health Minister Sophie Lohde said.

“Now women will have the time and the right to think about what to do,” the head of the Danish Medical Association, Camilla Rathke, told news agency Ritzau.

In addition, teens aged 15 to 17 will be allowed to undergo an abortion without parental consent.

While the right to abortion is being restricted or even banned in some parts of the world, a Danish ethics committee last year recommended extending the deadline from 12 to 18 weeks, bringing it in line with neighbouring Sweden.

“A limit of 18 weeks still leaves considerable margin to viability (of the foetus) around week 22,” the committee said at the time.

The left-right government will present a bill to parliament during the 2024-2025 session.

It is backed by all opposition parties on the left and is expected to be adopted by a large majority.

If adopted, the new law is expected to come into force on June 1, 2025.

In Western Europe, the countries that allow the latest abortions are Britain and the Netherlands at 24 weeks and Iceland at 22 weeks.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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