The Norwegian Nurses League's statement about the Norwegian Ministry of Social Affairs' legislative proposals concerning abortion is given. The issue of abortion on demand intimated in Section 1 of the proposal is met by such divergent opinion within the League that no position can be taken. The Ministry is reproved for not following the Norwegian Parliament's legislative guidelines regarding the assurance of personal freedom of conscience for medical personnel to refuse to assist in the performance of abortions for religious, ethical, or moral reasons. The League considers such an assurance of freedom of conscience necessary and urges that it be stated clearly in the new legislation. Nursing organizations from other countries as well as the ILO/WHO are cited as supporting such a position.
A doctor who performed an abortion in Poland faces two years in prison and the loss of his medical license for up to 10 years if he is found guilty of violating the new abortion laws introduced in 1993 after a lengthy campaign by the Catholic church and the Christian Democratic Union party. The new laws permit abortion when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, presents a serious health threat to the mother, is the result of rape or incest, or will result in the birth of a irreversibly and seriously malformed fetus. In this case, the woman had the abortion because she could not afford to support the child on her own; her former lover faces two years in prison if he is convicted of having paid for the operation. The new law follows a 40-year period of liberal abortion laws under the communist regime when abortion was seen as a form of contraception; an estimated 100,000 abortions occurred in the 1980s. The number of recorded abortions decreased to 777 (nine were in contravention of the law) in 1993. However, some abortions have gone underground; this one surfaced because of an angry former lover. Doctors can now charge two months' salary for the illegal operation, forcing many of the women go to Russia, Belarus, or the Ukraine where the operation is cheaper. Other women take matters into their own hands; one woman murdered the baby she would have aborted earlier.