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Thai Senate passes landmark bill to allow first trimester abortion

Caitlin Ashworth

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In a landmark decision, the Thai Senate approved amendments to Thailand’s abortion laws allowing women to terminate their pregnancy during the first trimester and also lessening the punishment for women who have an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The amendments will go into effect on February 12.

Abortion – during any stage of pregnancy – has been illegal under Thailand’s Criminal Code, with the exception that the pregnancy poses a health risk for the mother or if the woman was raped. If a woman terminated her pregnancy illegally during any stage, she faced to 3 years in prison and a fine of 60,000 baht.

Yesterday, the Senate approved to amend the Criminal Code to allow abortions performed by a qualified doctor during the first trimester, which is up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Women would not need to give a reason for the abortion.

The Senate also approved to lessen the punishment for women who terminated their pregnancy illegally. Women who have an abortion after the first trimester now face up to 6 months in prison and a fine up to 10,000 baht.

There were 165 votes in favour of the amendments and 7 against. 21 senators abstained from voting and 1 did not cast a vote.

Amended Sections 301 and 305 in Thailand’s Criminal Code:

Section 301: A woman who has an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy faces up to 6 months in prison and a fine up to 10,000 baht.

Section 305: The offender is not guilty if:

  • The pregnancy puts the mother at risk physically or psychologically.
  • The baby faces a significant risk of developing physical or mental disorder or disability.
  • The woman has been impregnated due to rape.
  • The woman is convinced there is no other option.
  • Second trimester abortions, up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, are approved by a doctor or public health professionals.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Grumpy John

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 6:30 am

    “Safe Abortion is a Human Right” said the sign the woman was holding….apparently not for the unborn baby in her belly. Abortion should not be allowed except when the pregnancy endangers the womans life or she was raped. There are plenty of birth control products for woman to use.

  2. Avatar

    roby

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Thailand sucks

  3. Avatar

    brian mc

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:54 am

    during the first trimester? what a way to start the academic year. what happens if they study in an international program that operates a semester not trimester year?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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