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About 94,000 people who want abortions are affected by Dutch criminal law

A civic initiative was delivered to Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, calling on politicians to remove abortion from the Dutch penal code, Wetboek van Strafrecht. Nearly 94,000 people signed a petition filed by broadcaster BNNVARA and Humanistisch Verbond (the Humanistic Association). The number of people who have signed is more than double the number needed to put this issue on Tweede Kamer’s agenda.

BNNVARA presenter Dzifa Kusenuh presented a banner to the Petitions and Civic Initiatives Committee in Tweede Kamer with the number of signatures collected for the initiative. Kusenuh believes abortion should be removed from the criminal code as it still contributes to the taboo surrounding abortion.

She is also concerned about the anti-abortion movement and believes it is important to ensure that abortion is not criminalized. “We see that anti-abortion lobbying is better organized in the Netherlands, and that it also works very well with other European countries, such as Poland and Hungary, which have recently changed their abortion laws. member,” she said on the radio program De Nieuws BV.

The committee will check to see if the initiative meets all the criteria, including the number of valid signatures. If the citizen initiative receives at least 40,000 signatures, the issue will be discussed in Tweede Kamer. BNNVARA cooperates with citizen initiatives through its own programme, Sputen en Slikken.

Article 296 of the Criminal Code states that those who perform abortion treatments on women can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 4.5 years or a fine of up to €22,500. This rule does not apply to physicians in hospitals or licensed abortion clinics. The Abortion Act stipulates that abortions are permitted up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

Currently also required 5 days reflection period Before having an abortion that rule expires January 1, 2023.

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