Women who are unsatisfied with the sex of their unborn child are opting for late abortions across the border in Sweden, public broadcaster DR reports.
Currently it is possible to determine a baby’s gender as early as 14 weeks in Denmark, which allows parents who were hoping for a specific gender to consider heading next door to Sweden, where one can abort as late as the 18th week.
“It’s unacceptable that Danish women are involved in abortion tourism,” Jonas Dahl, a spokesperson for Socialistisk Folkeparti, told Ritzau. “I’m shocked that some parents will actually go as far as to get rid of an unborn baby based on its gender.”
Dahl has called on the government to strongly consider changing the laws so that women will be prohibited from finding out the sex of their baby until after the 18th week in Denmark.
“We now need to find out how widespread the problem is, and see if there’s anything we can do about it now,” Dahl said.
Robert Kinnerfelt, the owner of a private baby clinic in Copenhagen that also performs ultrasounds, has cancelled 14-week gender scans due to stories of parents heading to Sweden for an abortion.
“We’ve found that some people we’ve treated ended up being been disappointed with their baby’s gender and then decided to get the child aborted in Sweden,” he told DR.
According to Brigit Petersson, a medical specialist and a member of the national abortion council Abortrådet, this type of tourism is by no means a new phenomena and will only continue to grow.
“The well-educated part of society find it’s very easy to get these types of procedures done,” she told DR. “Nothing stops you from seeking medical assistance in Sweden, and I don’t think this type of tourism can be stopped.”
In Denmark, under normal conditions, women can only seek an abortion if they’re no further than twelve weeks into their pregnancy.