MEMBERS of the Finnish Parliament on Wednesday voted 125 to 41 in favour of reforming the outdated termination of pregnancy act, reports Helsingin Sanomat.
The reform bill was opposed by all representatives of the Christian Democratic Party, 31 representatives of the Finns Party and four representatives of the Centre Party – Pekka Aittakumpu, Mikko Kinnunen, Markus Lohi and Ari Torniainen.
Also voting against the bill was the one-man parliamentary group of Ano Turtiainen.
The only blank vote came from Hanna-Leena Mattila (Centre). Thirty-two lawmakers were absent from the vote.
The reform will facilitate access to abortion in Finland. It stipulates that a pregnancy can be terminated at the request of the pregnant person until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy. A pregnancy can also be terminated later at the request of the pregnant person if continuing the pregnancy or going into labour could endanger their health or life due to an illness or physiological condition.
The requirement for supporting statements from two physicians will also be abolished.
The bill is set to enter into effect no earlier than in early 2023.
It is based on a citizens’ initiative that received the requisite 50,000 statements of support in the second half of 2020. The Parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee then expressed its backing for some of the objectives of the initiative, arguing for example that ensuring pregnancy is terminated as early as possible reduces the need for analgesics and hospital care.
The report issued by the committee was not unanimous, however. Aittakumpu (Centre), Kinnunen (Centre), Lohi (Centre), Petri Huru (PS) and Jari Koskela (PS) attached a dissenting opinion to the report, demanding that the entire act be overhauled.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT