Abortion clinic acquitted over teenage case
7 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Brugge Court acquitted on Tuesday an abortion clinic in Oostende on charges it breached regulations obligating patients to take a six-day reconsideration period.
7 February 2006
BRUSSELS — Brugge Court acquitted on Tuesday an abortion clinic in Oostende on charges it breached regulations obligating patients to take a six-day reconsideration period.
The clinic CEVO, two doctors, two co-ordinators and a nurse had been placed on trial for failing to give a 14-year-old girl a six-day reconsideration period after a consultation with a doctor.
However, the court accepted the emergency situation of the incident and ruled that every other legal requirement was met in full and that otherwise, the latest date possible for a pregnancy termination would have been exceeded.
It is the first time that a case over an abortion has been brought to the courts since pregnancy terminations were abolished from Belgian criminal law in 1990.
In 2001, the 14-year-old girl arrived at the youth advice centre JAC. She was 11 weeks pregnant and a JAC advisor gave her information about abortion.
The girl then reported to the CEVO abortion centre in Oostende a week later and ended her pregnancy.
The central co-ordination point for Dutch-language abortion centres CCNAC was pleased with the court's ruling, stressing it was an "important precedent" that the court had ruled that health workers had followed the "spirit of the law".
CCNAC said doctors, psychologists and nurses had assessed at the time that a strict adherence to the law meant failing to offer medical help to a patient in need.
The girl had already had talks at the JAC in relation to her unwanted pregnancy and her wish to end the pregnancy was clear and without doubt.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news