, says a nation-wide survey ordered by EHF Member Organisations Centre d’Action Laïque and DeMens.nu. The survey also highlights the lack of awareness in Belgium about the current abortion law: only 20% of the people surveyed knew that abortion is still in the criminal code.
By ordering this survey, Belgian EHF Member organisations aim at having abortion recognized as a medical intervention and want to secure women’s right to self-determination and to decide whether they want to carry on a pregnancy or not.
The main results of the survey are as follows:
- Only 20% of Belgians know that abortion is still considered as a crime,
- More than 75% of Belgians consider that the decision whether to abort or not should lie solely with the pregnant woman, irrespective of the opinion of her entourage,
- More than 60% of Belgians believe that refusing safe and legal access to abortion constitutes a case of violence against women,
- 75% of Belgians consider that abortion should not be considered as a crime and should be regulated by medical law.
In the past 2 years, many Belgian parties issued proposals for reforms of the Belgian legislation with most proposals being quite in line with public opinion but these proposal somehow never get on the agenda of the Justice Committee of the Belgian Federal Parliament.
With the publication of this survey, it is becoming clear that keeping abortion in the criminal code goes against the opinions of an overwhelming majority of the population.
We, at the EHF, hope that this impressive result will help our Belgian Member organizations to push for change and obtain a reform that will, once and for all, secure every Belgian woman’s right to decide over her own body and secure safe and legal access to abortion.