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Thailand today announced that pregnant women who are between 12-20 weeks into their pregnancy could seek an abortion legally after having consulted with their doctors.
The law goes into effect 30 days after it was officially announced in the Royal Gazette that was dated on September 26, which means that the new law will come into effect from October 26 onwards.
The landmark move to allow women to terminate their pregnancy comes as many countries around the world such as the United States have gone the other way around to banning abortion after decades of having given a green light to the move.
Abortion during the first trimester or 12 weeks of pregnancy was legalized in Thailand since February 2021.
However, abortion after the first trimester was still illegal with prison terms for anyone having an abortion and for those who perform it until the Royal Gazette’s latest announcement.
The announcement stated that 12-20 weeks plangent women will be able to consult with qualified professionals and legally get an abortion if the doctor approved.
Since it was legalized, there are now registered clinics throughout the country that will legally perform the operation such as the ones that are being supervised by the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPA).
Women’s rights groups have fought for this right for decades.
Thailand also has a high teenage pregnancy rate here around 1.5 million babies were born to teenage mothers between 2000 and 2014 and it was one of the reasons for the legalization of abortion in the country.
According to PPA, illegal abortions that were being performed in the past have led to unnecessary injury and death to women who undertook them.
With the legalization, women can now safely terminate their pregnancies without the fear of prosecution.
The association said there are around 300,000 abortions being performed in Thailand each year.