The cabinet recently approved a draft amendment to the Criminal Code proposing to legalize abortion for pregnancies of not more than 12 weeks. This amendment aims to address the concerns of women of their rights to life and body. According to The Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Medical Council of Thailand, it is safer to have an abortion during the 12-week period of pregnancy.
The amendment also outlines exceptions, that will allow termination of pregnancies to happen and that would reduce the penalties for having an abortion for pregnancies of more than 12 weeks. Moreover, it includes an exception for cases of high risks of serious fetal disabilities or genetic disorders.
Women who are less than 12 weeks pregnant and are planning to terminate unwanted pregnancies will no longer be liable to legal punishment, upon approval early next year.
At present, Thailand only allows abortion in the event of medical conditions or risks to life, or when the pregnancies are the result of rape, deceptions or force. Hence, women resort to risky self-induced abortions, making unsafe abortion as one of the most common causes of mortalities in women around the world.