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Abortion in Sweden: Wikis


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Abortion in Sweden was first legislated by the Abortion Act of 1938. This stated that an abortion could be legally performed in Sweden upon medical, humanitarian, or eugenical grounds. That is, if the pregnancy constituted a serious threat to the woman's life, if she had been impregnated by rape, or if there was a considerable chance that any serious condition might be inherited by her child, she could request an abortion. The law was later augmented in 1946 to include socio-medical grounds and again in 1963 to include the risk of serious fetal damage. A committee investigated whether these conditions were met in each individual case, and, as a result of this prolonged process, abortion was often not granted until the middle of the second trimester. As such, a new law was created.

The current legislation is the Abortion Act of 1974. This states that up until the end of the eighteenth week of the pregnancy the choice of an abortion is entirely up to the woman, for any reason whatsoever. After the 18th and until the 22nd week a woman needs a permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to have an abortion. Permission for these late abortions is usually granted for cases in which the fetus or mother are unhealthy.

The issue is largely settled in Sweden and the question of the legality of abortion is not a highly controversial political issue.

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