1960s and 1970sEdit
Brunant was a very religiously-influenced country in the 1960s and 1970s and the Catholic Church played an important role in everyday life. Subsequently, there were no serious attempts to reform the laws on abortion and there was no organized movement actively involved on the matter.
Illegal abortions entered the national spotlight in the 1960s, and in October 1963, the De Vries I government (CD-CDU) passed law 23/1963, which formally codified abortions as illegal, and any medical professional or person otherwise would serve up to ten years in prison for doing so. A 2012 BBN documentary on the history of abortion in Brunant stated that in 1969 alone, 24 women died from abortion-related causes, and in 1974, over 50 were likely to have died as well.
First abortion movementEdit
The Elteman government (SDP-SLP) attempted to decriminalize abortion in the late 1970s, but ultimately failed in its attempts. Abortion activists became more vocal in the 1980s, especially with the dangers of illegal abortions.
From the start of the abortion movement in the late 1960s, there has been an equally vocal opposition to it. The Catholic Church was the largest opponent, and under Archbishop Alixandre Villanova (1976-1995), the Church was initially instrumental in preventing any serious challenge to the law. In 1989, the Holy See expressed dismay at the passage of Brunant's abortion law.
The Milner government (SDP-SLP-BG) set out in Law 13/1989 the decriminalization of abortion in very clear terms. It stated that in cases of any likelihood of grave medical issues for the mother or child during the pregnancy, physical or mental deformities incurred of the child, and rape or incest, the law would not punish any abortion if performed in a safe and professional manner. The mother had no choice to voluntarily terminate the abortion, and any such cases, if found out by the state, were punishable. Women were only able to get abortions if aged 21 or older, and explicitly needed a medical recommendation.
Subsequent reforms and Law 15/2013Edit
Immediately from adoption in 1989, there have been several attempts at expanding or eliminating the law altogether. In April 1999, the first Michels government lowered the legal age to undergo abortions to 18, but was unable to do so for girls under the age of 18. Following the 1999 amendment, there was a marked reduction in the number of abortions. In 2006, under the Darnley government, contraceptives could legally be purchased over the counter, in what was a highly divisive vote within the ruling coalition.
Under Law 15/2013, the previous 1989 law was amended to allow the mother to choose abortion voluntarily within the first trimester of pregnancy, and to allow them, with parental consent, for girls aged 16 and 17. This was one of the key accomplishments of the Wostor II cabinet. Despite this, due to still-significant opposition, abortion is as yet decriminalized (and legally recognized) though not in the Constitution. A study completed by the King Adrian Medical School of the Royal University of Koningstad in 2017 saw that in the four years since the new law was passed, abortions have been reduced by over 44 percent.