The Centre d’Action Laïque keeps fighting in favour of the right to abortion. This right is still being threatened. On the occasion of the International Safe Abortion Day, the Abortion Right platform has shown that numerous hurdles to access to abortion still exist in Belgium.
Abortion Right gather Family planning and abortion centres, women’s rights organisations and general human rights organisations. In June 2021, it launched a call to testimonies of women who could not legally terminate a pregnancy because of exceeding the 12-week time limit in force in Belgium.
For a wide range of reasons, each year hundreds of women find themselves in excess of the too short 12-week time limit to undergo an abortion. They are forced either to travel to the Netherlands and pay themselves, or carry on the pregnancy due to a lack of means (financial or other) to travel.
The Centre d’Action Laïque shares Abortion Right’s demands to improve the law: abortion has to be treated as a public health issue; lengthening the legal time limit to have an abortion; reduce the compulsory “thinking period” to 48 hours, as well as a better support for women along the whole procedure. At the same time, contraception should be reimbursed for all women.
The Centre d’Action Laïque also welcomes the unprecedented gesture of international solidarity towards Polish women made by the Belgian Secretary of State for Gender Equality and Minister of Health. Polish women are deprived of access to safe and legal abortion, even in cases of serious and irreversible foetal malformation since the infamous 22 October 2020 decision of the Constitutional Court under control of the ruling party. The Belgian government has decided to financially support Abortion Support Network, specialised in helping get an abortion abroad.