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International - November 17, 2018

Thousands protest over abortion restriction

A placard carrying protester.

A new law aimed at restricting abortion has stirred up protests in Norway.

Thousands of protesters demonstrated in Norwegian cities on Saturday against restricting women’s access to abortion, the subject of talks between the ruling minority coalition and a small party seeking to join the government.

In Norway’s capital Oslo, the demonstrators, some pushing children in strollers, marched through the city center carrying banners with slogans such as “My body my right” and “Defend abortion”.

“The new law that’s proposed is limiting women’s rights,” said Ine Lund, a 22-year-old criminology student. “I feel it should be up to the woman to choose.”

When the Christian Democrats opened talks on teaming up with the opposition Labour Party to bring down the Conservative-led government, Prime Minister Erna Solberg intervened, offering to discuss tightening abortion rules.

The argument helped persuade rank-and-file members of the socially conservative, Lutheran-based party to vote for talks to join the ruling coalition, potentially securing Solberg a majority in parliament until the next election in 2021.

The Christian Democrats want further restrictions or an end to terminations after the twelfth week of pregnancy, potentially reining in exemptions for genetic conditions or injuries.

The party also wants to make it more difficult, or stop altogether, selective abortions in multi-fetal pregnancies.


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