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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Christian Democrats’ abortion reform met by protests

The Christian Democrats party continued on Monday to meet strong objections from most all other parties in Parliament, after it proposed requiring women to undergo a mandatory waiting period before having an abortion. The party claims it would give women more time to “reflect” on their decision, while opponents claim the party is just trying to make it harder for women to get an abortion.

There’s been a storm of controversy in both the media and social media since Dagrun Eriksen, deputy leader of the Christian Democrats, presented her program committee’s proposal just before the Easter holiday week. It was immediately rejected by, among others, the Labour Party and the Socialist Left party (SV).

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservatives opted to take some time to reflect on the proposal from one of her own minority government’s support parties, but said just before the weekend that she agreed with the opposition. “I have read the proposal and don’t think it’s something we’ll take up,” Solberg told news bureau NTB. “I agree with Labour and SV that we shall not do anything regarding women’s right to an abortion.”

It was also the Christian Democrats who put Solberg and her government in an awkward position during their first winter in office, when they also wanted to allow doctors the right to reserve themselves against referring women for abortions. That led to massive protests and demonstration marches that drew tends of thousands of people against the Christian Democrats attempt to make changes in Norway’s abortion law.

Solberg’s opposition is likely to park the new proposal. She said she believed Eriksen’s claim that the intention is not to make it more difficult for women to obtain an abortion, “but I disagree with this proposal.” Eriksen was harshly criticized throughout the weekend, and even ridiculed, for failing to understand that women already do need to wait at least a week or two for an abortion in Norway, and for suggesting that they hadn’t already thought through a difficult decision. staff



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