Life defenders and unborn babies under high pressure in Belgium
In Belgium, there is a debate on extending the abortion legislation. The new proposal, however, aims not only to completely depenalize abortion. It also proposes punishments for anyone who "in any way" tries to dissuade or prevent a woman from killing her unborn child.
France has already followed this path by introducing, among others penalties for publishing information on the internet that may discourage women from having an abortion. In practice, this means that you can go to jail for defending human life.
The bill discussed in Belgium intends to introduce the crime of “obstructing abortion”, while at the same time proposing abortion on request up to the 18th week of pregnancy. It also reduces the time of compulsory reflection from six days to only 48 hours and introduces high fines for hindering access to abortion clinics for women. The proposed changes are of great concern for life defenders because the term “in any way” is not clearly defined.
As an example of this “method”, the legislators cite: “distributing leaflets at the entrance to abortion clinics containing exaggerated information not corresponding to the reality of abortion.” However, it is not clearly stated what is in their concept behind the statement “corresponds to the reality of abortion” and who will decide about it.
Criminal sanctions would also apply to doctors if they refused to indicate an abortion center where the woman could undergo the procedure. The European Institute of Bioethics expressed concern over the inconsistency of the proposed changes and appealed to Belgian legislators to clarify the rules for breaking which could be tried for the crime of obstructing abortion. In practice, the new law would prevent women from being informed about alternative routes to abortion.