Proposed law would allow Taiwanese women to get abortion without spouses’ approval

7,427 Taiwanese back proposed amendment to allow married women to seek abortion without spousal consent

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/12/10
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(UNFPA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Health Promotion Administration (HPA) on Wednesday (Dec. 9) announced that it will propose the elimination of a law that requires women to receive permission from their spouse to have an abortion.

Article 9 of the Genetic Health Act (優生保健法) states that if a married woman wishes to undergo an abortion, she must first receive consent from her spouse. However, a petition to rescind the law on the Public Policy Proposal Platform received 7,441 signatures, exceeding the minimum number of 5,000 needed to require a government department to issue a response.

On Wednesday, HPA Deputy Director-General Wu Chao-chun (吳昭軍) announced that in order to comply with the UN's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and after consulting with various groups in the community, the department is planning to amend the Genetic Health Act to meet the expectations of the public and achieves the greatest consensus, reported CNA. Wu said more discussions will be held internally and a draft of the new legislation will be announced in March 2021.

Some who signed the petition pointed out that since pregnancy affects an individual woman's body, she should be granted the power to terminate the pregnancy. They argued that there should be no difference whether or not a woman is married. However, those opposed to changing the law argue that it is a matter that affects both members of a married couple and that both parties should decide whether or not to go through with the pregnancy.    [FULL  STORY]

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