Holland Residents Back Legal Abortions, Oppose Them Late in Pregnancy

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Holland Residents Back Legal Abortions, Oppose Them Late in Pregnancy Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 16,

Amsterdam, Netherlands (LifeNews.com) — Residents of the Netherlands have long supported legalized abortion, but a new poll finds they strongly oppose them in the latter stages of pregnancy.

The poll is important given new reports showing Dutch doctors joined their British counterparts in referring women to a set of Spanish abortion centers that were recently closed for doing illegal late-term abortions.

As LifeNews.com previously reported, a Dutch woman has been freed after spending four weeks in prison on charges that she had an illegal abortion at one of the abortion centers in question.

The Netherlands’ law allows abortions up to 24 weeks into pregnancy in rare circumstances and the woman was past that point.

The unnamed woman’s attorney, Caspar Brouwers, told the Dutch television program Pauw & Witteman that Dutch doctors did not want to violate the law against late-term abortions there so they referred her to the Spanish abortion centers.

She ultimately had an abortion at the Ginemedex abortion facility, one of four Spanish police closed down.

Marianne de Jong, a prosecutor in the central city of Den Bosch, has said the woman was "suspected of having an illegal abortion in Barcelona" and explained she would be prosecuted for infanticide. Despite her release she said the investigation in the case would continue.

Meanwhile, Maurice de Hond conducted a poll of Dutch residents and found that 64 percent believe abortions should be legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in all circumstances. Just 30 percent said they opposed legalized abortion and another 6 percent were unsure of their position.

However, an overwhelming 70 percent of the 1,000 Dutch adults in the December 8 poll said they don’t think “an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy is admissible.”

Only 17 percent of people living in the Netherlands favor late-term abortions and another 13 percent said they were unsure where they stood.