Norway could see a rise in women travelling to the country for an abortion, after a ruling by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
A new ruling made foreigners eligible for ‘selective reduction’ abortions.
Selective reduction involves aborting one or more unborn babies in a multiple pregnancy.
In February, the Norwegian Department of Justice ruled that, as with other abortions, selective reduction should be permitted up to 12 weeks.
The Directorate of Health has now extended this to those from abroad.
The procedure is illegal in Sweden and Denmark, and the ruling has led to concerns that women will travel across the border into Norway to have their abortion.
The Directorate of Health admits that there were no discussions on the ethics of the change.
Doctors have warned that the procedure carries risks for both the mother and remaining child.
Dr Birgitte Heiberg Kahrs strongly criticised the procedure, saying: “We have not found any medical benefit from this. On the contrary, it exposes the second child in the womb to danger”.
Two political parties – the Christian Democrats and the Centre Party – have called for an outright ban on the selective reduction abortions.
In 2014, Liz Brewer from Kent was pregnant with triplets and was offered a selective reduction abortion for two of the babies.
She said: “They asked if we would be able to cope with three babies, but that’s not something that even crossed our minds.”
“I couldn’t give up. I was blessed with three babies”, she added.
All three were born at 34 weeks and were perfectly healthy.