Dutch Woman Won’t be Prosecuted for Illegal Late-Term Abortion in Spain

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dutch Woman Won’t be Prosecuted for Illegal Late-Term Abortion in Spain

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 4
, 2008

The Hague, Netheralands (LifeNews.com) — Dutch prosecutors say they will no longer charge a woman from Holland for having an illegal abortion in Spain. The case came to light when Spanish officials shut down a chain of abortion centers for violating Spain’s late-term abortion laws by illegally completing abortion forms.

As LifeNews.com reported at the time, the Spain abortion centers were completing patient intake forms to have them read that the abortions were needed for mental health reasons before women ever visited the abortion center.

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

Reports indicate she was 27 weeks pregnant at the time of the abortion, well past the point of viability for unborn children.

Initially, the woman was freed after spending four weeks in prison and it prompted national interest because it was the first case of a Dutch woman facing prosecution for an illegal abortion.

Now, the public prosecutor’s office in the central city of Den Bosch told AP in a statement that the case has been closed because the woman suffers from psychological problems and won’t likely have another late-term abortion.

"Under normal circumstances, prosecution would be likely," the statement said, adding the woman’s mental state "very likely influenced her decision to terminate the pregnancy."

The woman initially visited a Netherlands abortion business but was denied an abortion because of the lateness of her pregnancy. Instead, abortion center staff referred her to an abortion facility in Barcelona, Spain.

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

The investigation began when her boyfriend talked with police after she lied and told him she gave birth to a stillborn baby in a Dutch hospital.

A December 2007 poll found residents of the Netherlands strongly oppose abortions in the latter stages of pregnancy.

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.

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