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Abortion in Finland was illegal until 1950, when the Parliament of Finland decriminalized abortions when performed to preserve the physical or mental health of the woman, in cases where it could be determined if the child would be handicapped, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape. Finnish law was further liberalised in 1970, allowing abortion for socio-economic reasons, if the woman was younger than 17 or older than 40, if the woman had already had four children, or if, owing to disease or mental disturbance, one or both parents would be unable to raise the child.

Under most circumstances, the approval of two physicians was deemed necessary to approve an abortion. Only one is necessary in cases of under-age or over-age pregnancies or when the woman has already had four children. Women seeking abortions must be provided with information detailing the significance and effects of the procedure. Under the 1970 law, abortions were to be performed before sixteen weeks of pregnancy. An amendment in 1978 allowed abortions to be performed at any point in cases of disease or physical defect in the woman. In 1979, the gestational limit was changed from sixteen to twelve weeks of pregnancy. [1] A 1985 bill allowed abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy for underage women and up to the 24th week if an amniocentesis or ultrasound found serious impairment in the fetus.

Abortions are provided free-of-charge in hospitals. It is illegal to perform abortions in clinics, though doctors are empowered to provide abortions outside of hospitals in dire circumstances. Illegal abortions are very rare because in practice a woman can get an abortion on demand. [2]

See also

References

  1. ^ (Finnish) Finnish Medical Society Duodecim. "Raskaudenkeskeytys." (August 20, 2001). Retrieved June 14, 2007.
  2. ^ Europe's Abortion Laws. (February 12, 2007). BBC News. Retrieved June 14, 2007.







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