P e t e r J.P. Tak* INDUCED ABORTION IN THE NETHERLANDS * Peter J.P. Tak is professor of criminal law at Nijmegen University, the Nether- lands. ** INTRODUCTION I n the past century ten Bills have been submitted in the Netherlands to change, complement and finally abolish the criminal law abortion provi- sions. Only two of them have been adopted by Parliament. One in 1911, the other in 1981. At the time o f the drafting of the Penal Code the legislator assumed that induced abortion should be prohibited and should be punishable, with only one exception: induced abortion performed by a physician on medical indication. Medical indication only applied when the foetus would threaten the mother's life. The sections 295 to 298 Penal Code (PC) as to induced abortion, formulated in 1886, soon proved awkward to handle. The reason was that case law had determined that the public prosecutor had to prove that the aborted foetus was alive at the time of the abortion,4 and that the suspect knew that the foetus was alive.5 This interpretation of the Penal Code sections 295 to 298 resulted from the fact that these sections were incorpo- rated in chapter
Tilburg Law Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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