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Iceland Minister of Health Launches Review of Abortion Law

Iceland Minister of Health Launches Review of Abortion Law

December 10, 2015 — Iceland Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson has launched a review of the country's abortion legislation, the Reykjavík Grapevine reports.

According to the Grapevine, Iceland legalized abortion care in 1935, making it one of the first western European countries to decriminalize the procedure. The law has been updated several times since it was enacted, but the last revision was about 40 years ago. Under current law, a woman must have approval from two unrelated parties before she can obtain abortion care.

Júlíusson launched the review following a recent article that cited the approval requirements. Júlíusson expressed concern about the requirements, saying, "To my mind, the best person to make the decision (to have an abortion or not) is the woman in question, and she is the one who should have the agency in this matter."

He said his staff is examining health legislation to find obsolete requirements (Fontaine, Reykjavík Grapevine, 12/8).