From Iceland — Abortion Proposal Discussed This Week

Abortion Proposal Discussed This Week

Published November 5, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

The Minister of Health, Svandís Svarvarsdóttir, will be tasked with making sure people who travel to Iceland to undergo abortions receive the proper healthcare, RÚV reports.

Rósa Björk Brynsjólfsdóttir, who drafted the proposal in light of current events in Poland, will be recommending the proposal this week and says she is expecting good support. “I think it is extremely important that the Icelandic Parliament takes a stand on women’s rights in Europe, and shows in action that we want to stand up for women’s and human rights. It also gives a clear message to the Polish community in Iceland,” Rósa says.

If the proposal is approved, the service in Iceland will be free of charge and available to those who are not able to undergo abortions in their home countries for legal reasons.

Ásmundur Friðriksson, MP for the Independence Party, raised issue with the proposal at the last open meeting of the Welfare Committee, where the current situation at Landspítali was discussed. He asked Rósa, “Is it in line with our current concerns about the health system in Iceland that 18 MPs are proposing that women in Poland can come here to Iceland and enjoy health care here? Can we handle such services?”

Rósa responded, saying that she does not expect an increased burden on the health system, or any high costs, and that health care professionals have responded very positively to the proposal. “It should not be a big cost for us, as it only covers two European countries; Poland and Malta,” she said. “I think our healthcare system can handle this.”

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