Let’s update the Finnish Act on Induced Abortion to contemporary standards!
The right to a free and safe termination of pregnancy is an essential part of women’s right to bodily self-determination and of their right to decide themselves of their own procreation.
The Finnish Act on Induced Abortion does not respect the right of a pregnant person to self-determination. The Act is 50 years old and strict in comparison with other European countries. The OwnWill2020 campaign aims at updating it to contemporary standards!
Why is the Act in need of amendment?
In Finland, the pregnant person’s own will is not sufficient for a termination of pregnancy.
The Act on Induced Abortion requires grounds for an abortion as well as separate statements from two doctors. To obtain such a statement, a pregnant person must establish the reasons – such as a financial or social life situation – for applying for a termination of pregnancy. The OwnWill2020 campaign demands that requiring reasons and medical reports be abolished. Requiring grounds can be humiliating and enables a doctor to assess and even criticise the grounds given by the person who applies for a termination of pregnancy. As is the case in the majority of other European countries, a termination of pregnancy must be obtained on the pregnant person’s own request in Finland too.
In the current system, the first and second medical reports are sought from basic and specialized health care respectively. In practice, this means a healthcare centre in the first instance and an obstetric hospital in the second. According to the current Act, a termination of pregnancy – both medical and surgical – shall be performed in an authorized hospital, i.e. in an obstetric one. However, more than 95% of abortions are nowadays performed medically so the statutory requirement for special medical treatment is unnecessary as regards medical terminations. To require medical reports by two doctors and to refer all terminations to specialised health care prolongs the process in an unnecessary way and is a burden not only to the person seeking the abortion but to the medical resources as well