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Law for illegal abortions becomes stricter

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 30
Georgian legislation will become stricter in terms of illegal abortions. A draft over the issue has already been prepared by the head of the Healthcare Committee, Dimitri Khundadze. The amendments in the law will be initially discussed at the parliament’s Judicial Committee.

The draft reads that the illegal abortion will be punished with 120-300 hours public service or imprisonment for 1-2 years. In case if the action is repeated by the same individual, or if the process affected a woman’s reproduction ability, the punishment will be 2-5 years.

If the abortion causes death, an individual committing the abortion will be imprisoned for 4-6 years.

Head of Parliament’s Procedure Committee Giorgi Kakhiani admits that there was quite a relaxed attitude regarding illegal abortions in Georgia.

“That is why we need stricter approaches,” Kakhiani suggests.

He states that international practice is stricter compared to Georgian legislation.

In a country that is facing serious demographic problems, abortions are increasing.

According to the National Statistics Department 25,600 abortions were made in 2010, the figure increased to 30,600 in 2011.

Deputy Minister of Healthcare Marian Jashi admits that about 40,000 abortions are made annually in Georgia. She stresses that there were 1,151 cases of selective abortion, when parents did not want a girl; they wanted to have a boy.

Jashi states that various legal changes are being planned for to Georgian legislation to meet EU standards in this regard, and the number of abortions will be decreased.

Georgian legislation states that abortion is legal when pregnancy does not exceed 12 weeks, when it is done in a licensed clinic by a licensed doctor. Abortion should not be made immediately, a woman is given 3 days to think more whether she really wishes the procedure or not.