Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir says that she disagrees with her party colleague, Ásmundur Friðriksson, who says too many abortions are being carried out in Iceland. Vísir reports.
A heated debate arose in Parliament on the parliamentary proposal, submitted by Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir, which would permit women from Europe who are not allowed to undergo abortions in their home country to be able to travel to Iceland for the procedure.
During the debate, Ásmundur stated, “There are 1,000 abortions a year. Five a day, every day of the year. Which I, and many others, think is too much.”
”I disagree with him,” Áslaug said in response to his statement, during an interview on Víglínan on Stöð 2. She continued: “The discussion went from talking about the health care system to talking specifically about the important right of women that we have decided to respect in this country.” She added to her comment that she was disappointed that people are ready to politicise the issue in the same way that it’s being politicised in other countries.
Parliament passed more extensive legislation on abortion last year, but the Independence Party was divided in its position on the matter.
“In my opinion”, Áslaug says, “It is just a matter of course for women’s rights, and no one is better suited than the woman herself to make a decision on abortion. It’s her life and her body, and should be her decision.” She says it is appropriate to criticise the conservative legal environment of those countries who have strict laws on abortion, such as Poland.
“It is not least my conviction of freedom and the right to self determination that supports my view, and I think we should be careful not to take this debate down to the trenches that it is in everywhere else,” she said.
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