Romania Reconsiders Anti-Abortion Amendment

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The Romanian Parliament has revised a proposed amendment that would have effectively banned abortion after the 24th week or pregnancy, even if the woman’s life or health is in danger.  The revision came after the Center for Reproductive Rights and a coalition of Romanian human rights groups voiced opposition to the amendment.

As originally written, the proposed amendment to a new draft criminal code included a provision giving personhood to the fetus after the 24th week of pregnancy.  The revised amendment, which the Romanian Parliament is currently considering adopting, no longer includes this provision.  

The Center and members of the coalition—including the Society for Contraceptive and Sexual Education and the Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives—submitted a letter to the Romanian Parliament and met with a parliamentary commission.  They argued that the legislative measure was unnecessary and potentially harmful by preventing the provision of care based on sound medical decisions between doctors and their patients.  

Moreover, the amendment would have set a dangerous precedent and undermined women’s fundamental human rights.  Romania would have become the only member of the European Union to ban late-term abortions even to save a woman’s life.
The letter was signed by more than 40 Romanian, European, and North American organizations. The European Parliament’s Working Group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Development also sent a letter to the Speaker of the Romanian Parliament expressing concern about the impact the amendment would have on women’s health and rights.