Norway plays politics with abortion laws

Erna Solberg’s gambit designed to keep her in power until 2021 (Photo: EUobserver)

Norway’s conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg, has proposed tightening the country’s abortion laws, in a political gambit that goes against Europe’s liberal trend.

Her idea is to amend paragraph 2c in Norway’s Abortion Act – also known as the Downs Paragraph, by reference to Downs Syndrome, a genetic disorder.

  • Most Nordic countries have liberal abortion laws, but Finnish women require medical permission (Photo:

The paragraph allows abortion even after 12 weeks if the child was to be “seriously ill”.

It also allows the abortion of a healthy twin if its sibling was to be ill.

Developments in medical technology were leading to a “sorting” of human beings, Solberg said in a recent blog post.

“Many in our party do not feel comfortable about Norway, as one of the few countries in northern Europe, allowing the abortion of a healthy twin,” she said.

The move to tighten abortion laws in Norway, one of Europe’s most liberal societies, goes against a wider trend in the region.

Ireland, formerly a staunchly Catholic-conservative country, is preparing legislation to allow terminations following a referendum in May.

Malta, the only EU country where it is still forbidden, has seen the flowering of a national debate on change with the recent staging of a new play, called De-terminated, about women who leave the island to do…

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.