Thailand is now in the process to make Abortion for pregnant women in the first 12 weeks legal. The Thai Cabinet latest news has approved a new amendment to Thailand’s abortion laws. Previously, Thailand is a country where abortion has always been strictly illegal with no exceptions. The new amendments takes into consideration necessary reasoning why a mother might require an abortion for pregnancies less than 12 weeks. Ratchada Thanadirek the Government Deputy Spokesperson reported on 17 November 2020. The amendment concerns Section 301 and Section 305 on Offence of Abortion in the Thai Criminal Code.
Section 301 states “Any woman, causing herself to be aborted or allowing the other person to procure the abortion for herself, shall be imprisoned not out of three years or fined not out of six thousand Baht, or both”. While Section 305 states “If the offence mentioned in Section 301 and Section 302, be committed by a medical practitioner, and: It is necessary for the sake of the health of such woman; or The woman is pregnant on account of the commission of the offence as provided in Section 276, Section 277, Section 282,Section 283 or Section 284 the offender’s not guilty”.
The main idea is to allow less than 12 weeks pregnant women to have the right for an abortion. This new change is very new for Thai abortion laws. The gestational age of 12 weeks is according to the opinions of the Medical Council of Thailand and the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Deeming that the 12 week period is the safest time in which an abortion can be done without risking the woman’s life. There has also been a change in the punishments for abortion based on the truth that woman who have had an abortion have already received bodily harm. Punishment is now imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, a fine not exceeding 10,000 THB, or both. Exceptions for abortion punishments now exist for necessary cases that require an abortion for the safety of the mother. The new amendment will likely come into effect before 12 February 2021.