NETHERLANDS. Law on
the termination of pregnancy of 1 May 1981..
Section 1. (1) [Definitions].
(2) For the purposes of this Law or provisions made
pursuant to it, the words "termination of pregnancy"
shall not mean the application of a method to prevent the nidation
of a fertilized ovum in the uterus.
Section 2. Treatment intended
to terminate pregnancy may be carried out only by a physician
in a hospital or clinic licensed by our Minister to provide such
Section 3. (1) A pregnancy
shall be terminated not earlier than the sixth day after the woman
has consulted the physician and on that occasion discussed her
intention with him.
(3) The physician shall inform the woman as soon
as possible whether he will provide the assistance requested of
him. In the case of a physician as referred to in subsection
1, this information must in all cases be provided not later than
five days after she has first consulted him, and in other cases
not later than three days.
Section 4. [concerns licences
referred to in Art. 2].
Section 5. (1) General
administrative regulations shall be issued setting forth conditions
governing the provision of assistance and the reaching of decisions
designed to ensure that any decision to terminate a pregnancy
is taken carefully and is reached only if the distress in which
the woman finds herself leaves no other choice.
Sections 6-10. [conditions
for granting or revoking clinic licences].
Section 11. (1) Any physician
who provides treatment intended to terminate pregnancy shall communicate
the following data to the chief physician of the establishment
at least once a month:
(2) The chief physician of the establishment shall
ensure that all physicians employed in the establishment submit
the data referred to in subsection 1 to him in full and in good
time, in such a manner that the data cannot be trace3d back to
individual patients. He shall ensure that the data are retained
for at least five years.
(3) Every three months, the chief physician shall
submit to the inspector details of the totals derived from the
data referred to in the preceding subsections.
(4) Detailed rules shall be l aid down by or under
general administrative regulations regarding the times at which
and the manner in which the data referred to in the preceding
subsections of this Section are to be submitted. The anonymity
of the woman treated must be ensured whenever such data are provided.
(5) The data obtained may be used only:
(6) The physician referred to in subsection 1 shall
likewise ensure that before the treatment, or as soon as possible
after it, the findings which led to the treatment are recorded.
He shall be required to retain such records for at least five
years and to keep the data contained in them at the disposal of
the inspector, provided that they are not traceable to individual
Section 12. The chief
physician of the establishment shall ensure that the inspector
obtains access upon request to the data referred to in subsection
2 of Section 11 and that such information as he may request and
which he reasonably requires in order to fulfil his duties under
this Law is made available to him, provided that such information
is not traceable to individual patients.
Section 13. (1) General
administrative regulations as referred to in subsection 1 of Section
4, subsection 1 of Section 5, items (b) and (c) of subsection
1 of Section 6, and subsection 4 of Section 11 shall be drawn
up at the instigation of our Minister.
(2) Such regulations shall enter into force only
after three months have elapsed following their promulgation.
Our Minister shall inform the States-General of the date of promulgation,
due consideration being given to the opinions expressed concerning
the draft of the regulations.
Section 14. Any person
who, in carrying out the provisions of this Law, obtains access
to data whose confidential character is known to him or may reasonably
be assumed by him shall be obliged to maintain secrecy concerning
them, except insofar as other provisions are applicable on account
of the office which he holds.
Section 15. A physician
who provides treatment designed to terminate pregnancy in a clinic,
other than a clinic which meets the conditions laid down in subsection
2 of Section 6, and who knows or may reasonably assume that the
pregnancy is of more than 13 weeks' duration, shall be liable
to not more than one year's imprisonment or a fine not exceeding
Section 16. (1) A physician
who provides treatment intended to terminate a pregnancy at any
time earlier than that stipulated in Section 3 shall be liable
to a fine not exceeding 50,000 guilders.
(2) Such an act shall not be punishable where the
physician has provided treatment intended to terminate pregnancy
at an earlier time in order to avert an imminent danger to the
woman's life or health.
(3) A physician who informs the woman as to whether
he is prepared to give her the assistance requested of him at
any time later than that stipulated in Section 3 shall be liable
to the same penalty.
Section 17. A hospital
or clinic in which treatment intended to terminate pregnancy is
provided in contravention of Section 2 or the order referred to
in subsection 1 of Section 10 shall be liable to a fine not exceeding
Section 18. (1) A physician
who fails to comply with the provisions of subsections 1 or 6
of Section 11 shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 10,000 guilders.
(2) A chief physician who fails to comply with the
provisions of subsections 2 and 3 of Section 11 and Section 12
shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 25,000 guilders.
Section 19. (1) The acts
made punishable under Section 15, subsections 1 and 3 of Section
16, and Sections 17 and 18 are offences.
(2) In addition to the officials referred to in Section
141 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the chief medical inspector
and inspectors of the State Public Health Inspectorate and the
officials assisting them shall be responsible for detecting the
punishable acts referred to in the preceding subsection.
Section 20. (1) No person
shall be obliged to provide a woman with treatment intended to
terminate pregnancy or to assist in providing such treatment.
(2) Where a physician has a conscientious objection
to providing such treatment or arranging for such treatment to
be provided, he shall inform the woman of this immediately after
she has first consulted him.
(3) The provisions of subsection 1 do not detract
from the physician's duty to provide other physicians with information
concerning the woman's condition if requested to do so and provided
the woman has given her consent.
The Penal Code shall be amended as follows.
A. A new Section shall be inserted after Section
82, reading as follows:
"82a. The term 'to take the life of another
person or of a child at the time of birth or shortly after birth'
includes the killing of a fetus which may reasonably be assumed
to be capable of remaining alive outside the mother's body."
A new Title shall be inserted after Section 295,
reading as follows:
Termination of Pregnancy
Section 296. Any person
who provides a woman with treatment and knows or may reasonably
assume that pregnancy may be terminated as a result shall be liable
to not more than four years and six months' imprisonment.
Where the act results in the death of the woman,
the person shall be liable to not more than six years' imprisonment.
Where the act is committed without the woman's consent,
the person shall be liable to not more than 12 years' imprisonment.
Where the act is committed without the woman's consent
and also results in her death, the person shall be liable to not
more than 15 years' imprisonment.
The act referred to in the first paragraph shall
not be punishable if the treatment is provided by a physician
in a hospital or clinic in which such treatment may be provided
under the Law on the termination of pregnancy.