Thailand’s Constitutional Court orders revision of abortion law paving way for reproductive rights

Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that Article 301 of the country’s Criminal Code, which criminalizes abortion in many instances, must be amended by the government paving the way for reproductive rights within the country.

Article 301 of Thailand’s Criminal Code states: “Any woman causing herself to be aborted or allowing the other person to procure an abortion for herself, shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than 6,000 baht, or both.”

On Wednesday, the court ruled in a split-decision that the article was unconstitutional because it contravened a person’s right to non-discrimination and a constitutional right to life and liberty.

The court asked the government to amend the law within one calendar year.

While this is the beginning of a long legislative process to amend the constitution, if followed, it is the first step towards eventual decriminalization and eventual legalization.

Abortion is currently illegal in Thailand unless the woman’s health is at risk or pregnancy is due to rape or incest.

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