bortion rights activist march from Washington Square Park to Bryant Park while protesting the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court, in New York, on June 24, 2022. / © ALEX KENT / AFP
Luxembourg's Prime Minister expressed his despair at the US Supreme Court ruling, which saw numerous states ban abortion following Friday's announcement.
Bettel took to Twitter on Friday evening, saying "making abortions illegal isn’t pro-life. It’s anti-choice. It’s anti-women."
He also issued a plea for solidarity, adding that "reproductive rights are not just women’s rights. They are human rights. So let’s all stand up for them."
Bettel joined other world leaders such as French president Emmanuel Macron and Belgian premier Alexander De Croo in condemning the decision by the Supreme Court to end constitutional protection for abortions in the US. As a result of the ruling, a number of right-leaning states have banned abortions already, with others set to follow over the next month.
Other leaders, including Canada's Justin Trudeau and New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, also criticised the ruling, with Trudeau referring to the news as "horrific". Ardern, who recently oversaw legislation to decriminalise abortion in New Zealand, called the decision "a loss for women everywhere".
Abortion in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg, abortion has been legal since 1978 - however, up until 2012, women in need of the procedure could only obtain an abortion if a physician deemed them to be "in distress". The law was reformed in 2012, with further amendments in 2014 ensuring the procedure was removed from the penal code, and abolishing the need for women to provide a written statement of their desire for the procedure.
Abortions are permitted up to the twelfth week of pregnancy (14 weeks since the last period), with later term procedures permitted if a danger exists for either the mother or foetus. These can only be signed off by two practising physicians.
Women in Luxembourg can have medical abortions up to seven weeks of pregnancy, with surgical procedures required for later pregnancies. By law, they must undergo a three-day waiting period prior to any procedure to confirm they are willing to go ahead. Minors must have parental consent, or that of a legal guardian or trusted adult. As a rule, abortions are free of charge for Luxembourg residents and cross-border workers.
In September 2021, the ADR party put out a statement refuting the EU Parliament's decision to consider abortion a human right, arguing it should only be permitted in emergency cases. The statement followed an announcement that Luxembourg's Ministry of Health supported International Safe Abortion Day, a day of action seeking access to legal abortions around the world.