Abortion in Holland – an interview with Irene van der Wende (below right), founder of the organization Abortioninformation.eu (and AbortusInformatie.nl)
Natalia Dueholm: Is it true that abortion is still a crime in Holland in certain cases?
Irene van der Wende:
Holland – a country claiming to be very tolerant – is intolerant of babies, cruelly attacking them. It’s a humanitarian crisis, marketed through political, rational, and persuasive discourses. Abortion is still considered a crime. The Netherlands (Holland) has an “Abortion is illegal unless…” system.
The law, Wet Abreking Zwangerschap (WAZ/BAZ/Wafz) doesn’t mention a time until when abortions are legal. Abortion for social reasons is officially allowed up to “reasonable expectation of viability”, which some term as 24 weeks although this is not specified in the law itself, but in an explanatory memorandum. Legal expert Don Ceder recently debated in a national symposium that “the government website states that the 24 week limit is defined in criminal law. But this is not the case.” He claims criminal law rather speaks of a “viability limit”.
The abortion law has, however, ensured that authorized doctors who perform abortions are not penalized if the woman declares an “emergency situation” as the reason to perform an abortion. The law deliberately doesn’t mention what can be deemed an emergency situation. The decision for the abortion is made by the woman who is pregnant. A father has no say in the matter.
The cases which involve urgent medical attention or rape aren’t mentioned by law. If a girl is between 12 and 16 years old, an abortionist can give approval for the abortion without the parents ever finding out.
Abortion can be performed in both hospitals and clinics, right?
The abortion may only be performed in a hospital or clinic with a special permit. We have 16 abortion clinics and 99 hospitals that have the government permit, according to the Inspector’s IGZ (Inspectie voor Gezondheidszorg or the health inspector) website. That is basically all the general hospitals in the country.
Only some clinics may perform 2nd trimester abortions after 12/13 weeks – if they do, a minimum of 2 doctors should be present in the clinic during the treatment.
The Netherlands is apparently one of around ten countries (of 193) that allow abortion after 14 weeks, according to a lawyer Clarke Forsythe. But the Netherlands also allows abortions after viability, for medical reasons, and euthanasia of newborns up to 1 year of age.
Besides that, the world is often told that women who have an abortion officially have to have a five days waiting period. However, what they often fail to add, is that the five-day waiting period is only required from 44 days – 6 weeks — onwards (after last menstrual period [LMP]).Babies killed in these first 44 days, which they conveniently call “16 days overdue” or OTB (overtijdbehandeling) are not considered abortions requiring the 5 day waiting period.
You mentioned that abortions are performed in Holland in government hospitals and clinics that have government permits. Are the clinics controlled and monitored by the government to ensure compliance with the law?
The government is supposed to inspect/visit and audit all health care facilities in the country annually. However, according to the director of the CASA chain of abortion clinics, “The inspection will come, but only if something went wrong,so they will only come afterwards”. A recent newspaper article though mentioned that in 2013 they did actually inspect all abortion clinics, claiming the inspector said, “abortion care in the Netherlands is generally of good quality”.
Do you know of any problems with the clinics?
Occasionally, one can find out about some problems with an abortion clinic, like in Utrecht where there was talk of unqualified staff and unsanitary conditions. 600 patients had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis because of problems with disinfecting equipment. Earlier in 2001 a 17-year-old girl died due to an abortion procedure there after she had been injected with anesthesia 10 times too strong. Abortion clinics in The Hague (PretermRutgers) and Amsterdam (Wong Oosterpark) were accused of financial mismanagement; however, the court verdicts don’t seem to reflect this. The Hague was said to have omitted listing abortions they gave to women from abroad, pocketing the cash money the women paid, according to an insider.
The abortion clinic in the Hague that had to close due to fraud etc, reopened as the first euthanasia clinic for adults, called “Levenseindekliniek” (life-ending clinic). It is the former PretermRutgers abortion clinic in The Hague.
What about the information on hospitals that perform abortions?
A few years ago, when I asked the government and inspector for an up to date list of the hospitals that are allowed to perform abortions, they said they couldn’t give me a list of the various hospitals, and sent me on a wild goose chase. I responded that I was surprised, as they were supposed to inspect them, and yet couldn’t even provide a list of where to inspect.
According to Bert van Herk (chairman of the board of directors) from CASA abortion clinics, 5 percent of abortions are done in hospitals. He says these are mostly done for educational purposes, or for ending a pregnancy that initially was desired. However I know of women who have had abortions at hospitals for no medical reason whatsoever.
There is also around 40% under-registration of admissions and operations done (in general) in 2011 in hospitals in the Netherlands in the LMR reporting, according to CBS (3% in 2005). The Rutgers Nisso report of 2008 stated on page 3 that some clinics and hospitals do not participate in the National Abortion Register and therefore only 85% of all abortions are included.
The government must compile a report on abortion in Holland. What type of information is gathered?
Abortions for residents of the Netherlands are paid for by the government, through a system called AWBZ. The annual WAZ report provides data, based on a set of questions that the doctors have to answer. Although the law says abortions may only take place if there is an “emergency situation” this question is not on the forms. However, they are asked if it had to do with prenatal diagnostics.
What about informed consent and complications from abortion?
The number of complications listed in the WAZ report over 2010 was 322, while there were 466 in 2012, an increase of some 44%.
In 2012 there were around 150 incomplete abortions (for example, a foot left inside womb), with 24 women having a damaged uterus. 379 women were treated in the local facility for their complications, while 41 women were referred to a hospital for further treatment. Besides extreme blood loss of over ½ liter (125 cases), infection and medication side effects (35 cases), along with the aforementioned damaged uterus and incomplete abortions, there were around 130 other complications not further specified. They no longer report separately a torn cervix (which they did in 2010). The reporting has not been standardized throughout the years.
I am surprised at the seemingly low numbers. One would tend to think that England is not very different from Holland with regards to complications from abortion. Yet in one month, standing outside an abortion clinic in Ealing UK, an ambulance was seen to arrive 5 times in the course of month.
Recently a school student doing research concerning abortion emailed an abortion clinic here in Holland asking them what they tell women about the possible risks of abortion. She forwarded me the answer they sent her by email, which said ” is door ons niet te beantwoorden. Gevolgen zijn voor iedereen anders”. “This cannot be answered by us. The effects are different for everybody”.
Yet these clinics are supposed to give all the information. That’s what “informed consent” means. However, the abortion law does not require a woman to sign an “informed consent” form. The doctor only has to mention that informed consent was obtained.
Do abortion statistics provided by the government contain any reliable data about hospital and clinic abortions? Are pill-abortions included?
The data provided in government reports raises several questions.
It was only in 2009 that it became compulsory to report the age of the baby that was killed.
It also took many years before it became compulsory to give the government the so-called “menstrual extraction” numbers, also known as “OverDue Treatment OTB”, or “early abortions”. These babies, at 6.5 weeks, (44 days LMP) already have a beating heart, arms developing, along with pain receptors, lungs, intestines, eyes, nose, tongue, liver and stomach etc. But for some odd reason these babies are considered even more less-than-human, not considered as abortions in the same way, and don’t have to adhere to the 5 day waiting period. They can be killed using medication (abortion pill) or instruments (curettage) – no different from a normal abortion.
In 2011 it still was not compulsory to include these 44 day OTB abortions so it is hard to tell if they are all included. Maybe thousands of them are unreported? Our Health Minister said 15 March 2013 there are over 16,000 OverDue Treatments OTB (babies up to 44 days) annually. It is a big number.
The reports do include abortion pill abortions, but don’t include the morning after pill, which is now also sold via pharmacies without prescription, not to mention the normal regular hormonal contraception that can cause abortion due to stopping implantation of the baby into the lining of the womb after a week of development.
The official WAZ reports also do not include the abortions that were done after 24 weeks, the 3rd trimester. If doctors do perform abortions after 24 weeks, it has been mandatory for them since 2007 to report cases of late pregnancy (LZA) and neonatal life termination (Groningen Protocol). For these children, no death certificate is made, but doctors report it with a special form.
According to an on–line article, it was surprising there were only 3 reports of late abortions after 24 weeks, and no baby killed after birth, as dozens of such reports had been expected.
Why “the expectation” of more babies killed in the third trimester?
Some researchers suggested in 2013 that the numbers are probably much higher, but the doctors fear reporting them since the law is strict. New legislation (LZA) from 2007 says that there needs to be absolute certainty about the diagnosis and prognosis of the sickness of the child. But that is often very difficult based on an ultrasound.
Earlier, in 1996, a major Dutch newspaper, Volkskrant, reported that between 1990 and 1995 more than half of thehospitals in the province of North Holland performed late-term abortions after 24 weeks. The article said that abortions after 24 weeks count as manslaughter or murder, according to the Criminal Code, and are therefore punishable. But doctors can use a distress situation/emergency exception. They signed off the late abortions as “natural death” on the death certificates in the majority (91 of 103) of the cases.
The government inspection agreed that the term “natural death” could be used. An agreement had been made with the public prosecutor to call abortions above 24 weeks “natural death” – saving the parents the stress of being investigated by the justice system.
Furthermore, could it be that calling abortions after 24 weeks a “natural death” has lead to the Netherlands to be rated as one of the countries with the highest rate of “infant mortality” (babies born dead) in the whole of Europe? Almost 1700 babies are reported dying just prior, during, or after birth, annually. There was a media frenzy attempting to blame home births, or hospitals not being up to par, but some articles were clear that abortions after 24 weeks are now recorded in this manner in the Peristat reporting system, but this did not reach the regular media.
How do Dutch gynecologists feel about abortion?
More than half of the 77 surveyed gynecologists said they had performed a late term abortion over 24 weeks. According to an on-line article, Dutch gynecologists want the abortion restrictions removed for abortions beyond 24 weeks.
Holland is often cited by the abortion lobby for its small number of abortions. Is this correctly stated?
Marketing slogans are made to be simple and catchy. Public opinion is in reality carefully crafted and scripted propaganda, designed to elicit a desired behavioral response, and shortcut our minds from critical examination. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of the abortion league in the USA, NARAL, said “I remember laughing when we made those slogans up…..We were looking for some sexy, catchy slogans to capture public opinion. They were very cynical slogans then, just as all of these slogans today are very, very cynical.” “Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public.”
Indeed, page 11 of our latest government report of 2012 claims in Conclusions 2.1: “The abortion rate (abortuscijfer) … was 8.5. With this, the Netherlands, as in previous years, ranks with thecountries with the lowestabortion rates.”
But, in 1975 the number of babies Holland was responsible for killing through abortion was around 15.500, while 30.577 babies lost their lives in Holland in 2012. This is almost double. The abortion ratio (abortusratio) increased 65% from 93 to 153 between 1990 and 2012, while the “abortion rate” (abortuscijfer) rose 67% between 1990 and 2002 from 5.2 to 8.7.
Holland avoids the term “percentage” of actual number of abortions compared to the actual number of live births, which would paint a different picture when compared to other countries.
We have stripped all rights from a class of human beings and reduced them to nothing more than the property of others. Human rights of the unborn are being violated. They are an unseen discriminated group of people – the “undocumented” ones – a group of so-called “underclass” humans.
Our country will continue to tolerate abortion as long as they never see abortion and what it does to the baby. Our organization AbortusInformatie.nl exposes the horrors that take place daily behind closed abortion clinic doors. But despite so-called “freedom of speech” we often encounter “opinion police” and “viewpoint blackmail”, that bullies into silence anyone who shows moral objections to killing babies. If it’s legal to kill babies, calling them “not human”, then there should be no problem showing the world what these “not humans” look like after they are killed, like animal activists do. Thankfully some public servants still know the difference between serving the public and killing the public.
Natalia Dueholm: Abortion was legalized in Holland in the 80s, at the same time as many other countries. …
Irene van der Wende: Abortion had been tolerated in Holland for many years before it was legalized. Already in the 70’s we see that abortion was no longer penalized in the UK and Holland, paving the way for legalization. In Holland there were 105 sentences for illegal abortions in 1958, but only 3 in 1973, and none after that. Yet abortion was ratified, legalized in 1984. Where were the police and judges before then?
Also, abortion was discussed at the end of the 1960’s, with the first baby being killed in an abortion clinic on February 27, 1971, after money was collected in a TV fundraiser to set up abortion clinics.
Then a year after that, the euthanasia organization NVVE (Nederlandse Vereniging voor een Vrijwillig Levenseinde – Dutch Association for a Voluntary End of Life) was founded. The NVVE helped get euthanasia for adults legalized in 2001. Later Holland established the so-called Groninger Protocol that permits euthanasia of babies up to a year old, without fear of legal prosecution.
Holland is a country that flirts with death.
I found it strange that Holland hasn’t been specifying the cause of death on the declarations of death. It’s only since this year that it’s mandatory for hospitals to give numbers of deaths, and the diagnosis, although many hospitals were in uproar about this information becoming available.
At the time when abortion was being discussed and legalized, there was hysteria about overpopulation spread by the USA and Great Britain. Was population control, Neo-Malthusianism, or eugenics, a factor in the abortion legislation?
In 1881 Holland started the New Malthusian Union (NMB Nieuwe Malthusiaanse Bond) to promote birth control in the working classes in order to reduce large families. The secretary of the union was Dr Rutgers. Clinics giving sexual advice were established all over the country in the 1930s. In WWII Nazi Germany loved eugenics (selective breeding), but wanted the pure Arian race to breed more. This was not in line with the New Malthusian Union, so it was dissolved. After the war, new organizations came in their place.
Let me mention a few interesting facts about eugenics. In the 1960s, as Dr. Len Horowitz writes, “the Eugenics Society of England adopted what they called Crypto-eugenics, stating in their official reports that they would do eugenics through means and instruments not labeled as eugenics.”
“With support from the Rockefellers, the Eugenics Society (England) set up a sub-committee called the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which for 12 years had no other address than the Eugenics Society. This, then, is the private, international apparatus which has set the world up for a global holocaust, under the UN flag.” Prince Phillip (England) has advocated his desire to “cull” the surplus human population, saying that if he could be reincarnated, he’d like to return as a killer virus to lower human population levels.
In 1952 two Dutch doctors helped found IPPF International Planned Parenthood Foundation. One of them was an abortionist, the other a sexologist.
Holland, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, was one of the world’s most densely populated countries up till the 1960’s .
Today, a Dutch organization called “The Club of Ten Million” (www.overpopulationawareness.org) says on their website that Holland “is one of the most severely overpopulated countries in the world” and wants the population to go drop the current 17 million back down to 10 million again.
Your government is known for supporting abortion all over the world….
Our government proudly helps pay for abortion in developing countries. Dutch people lead many pro-abortion organizations, for example Women on the Web and Women on Waves. A Dutch person is in the Governing Council of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and also IPPF Europe executive committee. The Population Council has on it’s board of trustees the same Dutchman who is in the Steering Committee of the secret Bilderberg meetings, and advisory board of Goldman Sachs. A knighted former Dutch ambassador, connected with IMF committee, is on the board of directors of the Population Services International. Holland also helped set up a European/International Federation of Abortion Providers (FIAPAC), after holding a meeting in Amsterdam for international abortionists.
The World Population Foundation (WPF) was also created in Holland to lower world population. In 1995 WPF was instrumental in a parliamentary resolution that called upon the Dutch government to raise its allocation for reproductive and sexual health programs from the then mere 1.5 percent of the Netherlands Development Assistance Budget up to 4 percent, in line with the financial targets agreed upon in Cairo
The Rockefeller Foundation enabled WPF to gradually develop its own program in partnership with NGOs in developing countries. This eventually culminated in the € 25 million Reproductive Health Initiative (RHI) funded by the European Commission.
Grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation allowed WPF to further develop and expand its programs in Asia and Africa.
In 2010 WPF and the local Rutgers Nisso Groep merged and became Rutgers WPF, now working both nationally and internationally in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), also organizing workshops and conferences to promote a sense of urgency.
Bert Koenders, one of the chairmen of Rutgers WPF, and former Development Minister, wrote the foreword in an IPPF document entitled “Stand and Deliver. On sexual and reproductive health rights”. IPPF demands that young people be able to “obtain the services they need and want, unconstrained by psychological, attitudinal, cultural or social factors”.
Recently, I read that the government of Holland would be allocating another € 3 million to support “safe” abortions in developing countries. Currently 2 million was allocated.
In past years, the Dutch government has given money to a local organization called Mama Cash, who in turn helps NGO’s in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean. They helped Women on Waves get started and sail after the big bad babies, and also support Women on Web. The Dutch government Ministry of Foreign Affairs donated € 900.000 annually in 2009 and 2010, expecting € 1.150.000 in 2011 . Mama Cash has also received donations from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs and HIVOS, Goldman Sachs, Ford Foundation, Levi Strauss, American Jewish World Service etc..
In 2013 and 2012 Dutch government gave IPPF € 5.654.000 and € 2.904.000 respectively. In 2013 the European Commission (EC) gave IPPF $ 860.000, Bill and Melinda Gates gave $ 3.462.000.
So, it seems that many people in Holland still believe there is an overpopulation problem…
There is propaganda in the schools to influence students into a mindset of thinking this, but the world is not overcrowded! Yes, cities can be crowded, but there is lots of empty space! Did you know that the whole world’s population, with a house and small garden, would fit in the territory of France and Germany, with the rest of the world’s land mass available for infrastructure (roads, schools), cattle, crops etc.? The whole world would fit into France and Germany combined.
Holland is often praised by the abortion lobby as a model where abortion numbers are low, thanks to birth control use and sexual education. Can you comment on that?
Despite the sex education, many Rutgers reports on abortion have shown that 2/3 of those who came for an abortion, were actually using some form of contraception.
In 1975 the number of Dutch babies killed in abortion was 15.000, and by 2012 it almost doubled. We kill around 100 babies every day through abortion, more than 2 primary schools every week. The official total of Dutch babies killed through abortion in 2012 was 30.577.
Also, the infant mortality rate in Holland was almost the highest in Europe – 3rd of 26 European countries in 2008.
In 2012 only around 176,000 children were born in Holland, compared to around 240.000 in 1960 – some 25% lower. Our demographics are changing horrifically. We have so few children being born now that the government wants to close down primary schools with fewer than 100 children. This will force children living in smaller rural villages to travel a long way every day just to go to school. Also, they have started to increase the pension/retirement age, to counteract the demographic change of what they term too many old people. In this manner, the workforce appears larger, with less elderly having rights to a pension.
Forty years of killing babies has caught up with us. We are dealing with the symptoms of a financial crisis. We do not have enough young people being born to pay taxes. This is the result of abortion, contraception, and sterilization.
Since abortion started in Holland in 1971, we are missing 1.3 million people. Their total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would have been over € half a trillion – € 620 billion. It would be enough to cover our financial deficit of around € 440 billion.
This is why AbortusInformatie.nl (and AbortionInformation.eu) educates and shows photographs of abortion victims to build awareness of how babies are treated. My own child was killed, after I was raped, through a D&E abortion. When I saw pictures of how these babies were mutilated, I was sick to my stomach, and found it appalling. These children are the forgotten victims, killed in their thousands daily in Europe. It’s a war on babies, and I will do all I can to be a voice for them.
WAZ report 2012, page 11 conclusie https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten-en-publicaties/rapporten/2013/12/06/jaarrapportage-2012-van-de-wet-afbreking-zwangerschap.html
 WAZ report 2012 page 37 attachment 2; page 17 figure 4; page 16 figure 3 https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten-en-publicaties/rapporten/2013/12/06/jaarrapportage-2012-van-de-wet-afbreking-zwangerschap.html
 https:// https://history.mamacash.nl/theme/nederlands-abortus/ retrieved 7 Aug 2014
 https://issuu.com/mamacash/docs/mama_cash_jaarverslag_2010_def_web/97 pages 101/103, 109/111, 49/51 retrieved 7 Aug 2014 https://www.mamacash.org/content/uploads/2013/06/Mama-Cash-_Annual_Report_2011.pdf page 92/94,
 https://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/fin_financialreport_2013-2014_web.pdf pages 31/33, 32/34
LifeNews Note: Natalia Dueholm is a Polish journalist, an editor of a quarterly “Opcja na Prawo”. She wrote an Open Letter of Women Journalists Against Abortion (available also in English).