Danes support easier access to late-term abortions

Improvements in detecting foetal deformities at later stages of pregnancy may be reason Danes want greater control over terminating pregnancies

A majority of Danes think it should be easier to get a late-term abortion, according to a study of 500 men and women by the University of Copenhagen.

Women in Denmark are free to choose to have an abortion before 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that time, their request for an abortion has to be approved by a commission of legal, medical and psychiatric professionals.

Some 60 percent of the poll respondents said that it should be acceptable to get an abortion up through the 18th week of pregnancy if the foetus has a deformity, while 24 percent think it would be okay up until the 21-week mark. A third of the respondents said that particular deformities should warrant automatic permission for an abortion, while a quarter said that any deformity should give women the automatic right to a late abortion.

Since 2004, women have been offered scans of their foetus at 13 and 19 weeks, which experts say could lead parents to demand greater control over the pregnancy.