Liberal Draft Law Presented to Greek Parliament
ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The socialist government presented a draft law to Parliament on Thursday that would allow Greek women to have abortions on demand, funded by the state.
The proposed legislation replaces a 1950 law that makes it a criminal offense for women to undergo abortions, but which has seldom been enforced in recent years.
″It is our duty to confront the problem of abortion realistically in a modern way,″ Justice Minister George Mangakis said, introducing the bill with Health Minister George Gennimatas.
They said 100,000 to 350,000 illegal abortions were carried out annually in Greece, often at unlicensed clinics without proper medical care for the women.
″According to recent surveys, 35 percent of married women admit to having had abortions along with 10 percent of unmarried women of childbearing age,″ the bill’s introduction said.
The proposed law places no restrictions on obtaining state aid for abortions, but says that abortion should not be considered a form of contraception.
The bill also provides for women to receive free family planning advice and be fitted with contraceptive devices at state expense.