Abortion in Monaco is decriminalized
On October 31, the elected National Council representatives unanimously voted on a bill to decriminalize abortion, which was first introduced in June. However, abortions will stay prohibited in the principality.
Back on June 12, during the first legislative session of the spring, legislation to decriminalize abortion was unanimously adopted by the National Council and introduced for about two months.
Bill No. 234 on decriminalization of abortion, voted unanimously, seeks to amend article 248 of the Penal Code, which defines and penalizes abortion. This puts an end to criminal penalties against women who have had an abortion.
Twenty-four national councilors voted on the bill that puts an end to certain restrictions imposed by the church, which has a strong presence in the principality. Since 2009, pregnancies resulting from rape can be terminated legally. But before 2009, Monaco had one of the most difficult abortion laws in Europe, and this procedure is only allowed if there is a risk of death for the mother.
Recently, women's rights have made headlines and laws on women's right to choose to terminate pregnancies have changed internationally. Even Ireland, known as Catholic, now allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy since December 2018, when Monaco was still banning it.
Although abortion has been decriminalized, it is still only currently permitted in extreme cases (rape, fetal malformation, illness or fatal risk to the mother). The practice of abortion is still prohibited and punishable by five to ten years imprisonment, and for health workers, a suspension of at least five years, or even a ban on the practice of medicine.