The bill on the decriminalising abortion will be tabled to the House plenum for a vote next week, MPs said on Monday.
The around three-year long discussion of the bill by the House human rights committee was completed on Monday and MPs will vote on March 30.
Disy MP and head of the committee, Stella Kyriakides, said that the bill proposal is the first step toward decriminalising abortion and a comprehensive proposal that will include restrictions will soon follow.
This will provide for obligatory counselling before an abortion takes place but also sexual education and prevention. It is expected to be completed soon after Easter and sent to the House plenum to vote on as a second bill.
“What we are after is for the number of unwanted pregnancies to be reduced so that the number of abortions drops,” Kyriakides said.
She added that this can only be achieved only through a comprehensive legal framework that will offer a proper framework and counselling.
“But until then, we have promoted the necessary amendment of the law which decriminalises abortions, which was long overdue,” Kyriakides said.
In countries where abortion decriminalisation is paired with counselling and other measures, the number of unwanted pregnancies has dropped.
The bill on the decriminalisation of abortions aims to give women the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy under 12 weeks of gestation.
It will also be allowed at under 19 weeks if prenatal diagnosis indicates severe abnormality of the foetus and if there is an inherent risk to the pregnant woman’s life or the risk of serious and permanent harm to her physical or mental health. Also, in cases of multiple pregnancies where the gestation of a number of embryos must be terminated.