by Steven Ertelt
November 15, 2007
Stockholm, Sweden (LifeNews.com) — The Swedish Parliament has approved a bill that would make Sweden an international destination for women seeking abortions. Foreign women will now be allowed to have abortions in Sweden in what detractors call "abortion tourism" by offering abortions to women in nations where the practice is illegal.
The practice would be similar to that in which pro-euthanasia organizations in Switzerland operate assisted suicide houses where elderly and disabled patients are killed.
"The abortion law is going to be changed so that foreign women will be allowed to have abortions in Sweden," a statement from parliament said.
Previously only women from the northern European nation could have abortions unless the national health office gave special permission.
According to the AFP news agency, 134 members of parliament supported the bill while 124 opposed it and 91 members abstained.
In February, two top church leaders there said they may urge Christians to oppose the re-election of the nation’s government in upcoming elections because of the proposal to expand abortions.
Sweden’s Catholic bishop Anders Arborelius and Sten-Gunnar Hedin, head of the evangelical Philadelphia Church in Stockholm told The Local newspaper about their frustrations.
"We are sad that this proposal is backed by a Christian Democrat social affairs minister, Goran Hagglund," the two wrote.
"It is incomprehensible that he is supporting this proposal while claiming that it was required by the EU, something that this country’s leading EU law expert, Professor Ulf Bernitz, insists is not the case," they said.
The Christian Democrats are one of the smaller political parties — with just about four percent support in the polls — but they are partners with other parties in forming the ruling coalition government.
Should they lose support, they could find themselves out of the Swedish parliament and the government’s coalition could unravel.
Current Swedish law allows abortions to be done to 22 weeks in some cases and women wanting abortions in that case must get permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare.
Abortion in general is allowed for any reason up to 18 weeks of pregnancy and members of the Swedish parliament are looking to reduce that to 12 weeks.