Women Can Now Get Abortions Without Spousal Consent 「優生保健法」將大修 改稱「生育保健法」

In the near future, women in Taiwan might no longer need consent from their spouses before getting an abortion. If passed, this will be the first major change for the Genetic Health Act in 12 years.


Important changes are underway for the Genetic Health Act. Last week, the Health Promotion Administration invited experts for a discussion. In the future, to respect the autonomy of women, married women will no longer need spousal consent before they can get an abortion.

Voice of Tsai Wei-yi, Dep. Director, Maternal and Child Health Division, HPA: “We hope we can reach a more unanimous view through communication or explanation on international trends and methods.”

Under the current act, when pregnancy or childbirth is likely to affect a married woman's mental health or family life, induced abortion shall be subject to her husband's consent. In the future Reproductive Health Act, married women wishing to get an abortion won't need spousal consent. The advance notice of the amended act will be posted in January at the earliest.

Huang Min-chao, Chair, Taiwan Association of Obstetrics & Gynecology: “In the 2000s, there was a case in Kaohsiung where a woman terminated her pregnancy without getting the consent of her husband. Finally, the judge ruled her innocent, using principles from laws on women's physical autonomy. I think this case showed us that what is most important is the autonomy of women.”

Under the current act, unmarried minors seeking abortions must get the consent of their statutory agent or assistant. The amended act stipulates that unmarried minors seeking abortions against the advice of their statutory agents or assistants must undergo a "consultation." Women's organizations say a comprehensive set of measures is needed.

Tan Yu-jung, Secretary-General, Awakening Foundation: “The Gender Equity Education Act requires an educational setup that includes sex education. If a minor has an unplanned pregnancy even after receiving sex education, then we hope the design of the Health Promotion Administration system can be very careful, not just a simple consultation to get it out of the way. It must include the sex education and also the support offered by the social welfare system.”

These groups say the key to these "consultations" is whether the government will provide sufficient social welfare resources and sufficient information to the involved parties. If it's aiming to allow the involved party to make her own decision but the consultation is designed to give more importance to parents' opinions without considering the minor's opinions, then it will lose meaning.




 

優生保健法將出現重大變革,上週國健署邀集各界專家研議,基於尊重女性自主權,未來已婚婦女如果想進行人工流產,可以不必經過配偶同意。

國健署婦幼健康組副組長蔡維誼表示:「國際上面的一個趨勢跟做法,希望是說透過溝通或說明的過程,是不是能夠取得比較大家一致的看法。」

 

現行的優生保健法當中規定,有配偶者「因懷孕或生產,將影響其心理健康或家庭生活者」施行人工流產應配偶同意,而未來的生育保健法草案,已婚婦女如果想進行人工流產,不須配偶同意,預計修法草案最快明年一月就會對外預告。

婦產科醫學會理事長黃閔照表示:「過去民國90年的時候,高雄也有判例就是,沒有徵求到先生的同意權,而去終止妊娠,最後法官的判決是依照應該以婦女的身體自主權為主的法律原則來做判決,後來判決無罪。我想這個案例也是給我們思考,應該還是以婦女的自主權為主,是比較重要。」
 

另外,現行規範未成年少女進行人工流產,須取得法定代理人或輔助人同意,未來新法草案也將修改為未成年少女懷孕是否進行人工流產,若與法定代理人意見有衝突時須經「諮商」等規定,對此婦女團體認為需要更多配套。

婦女新知秘書長覃玉蓉表示:「性別平等教育法就有要求教育體系,其實是要提供性教育,那當然有性教育之後,她其實如果未來還是未預期懷孕,她還是未成年的話,我們其實希望國健署體制的設計,要非常仔細,而不是非常簡單的就諮商帶過,包括從前端的性教育,到後方的整個社會福利體系的支持,其實都應該要到位。」

婦女團體認為,諮商過程重點是政府後續有沒有提供足夠社會福利資源,有沒有提供足夠資訊給當事人,如果要讓當事人也有自主權,但諮商設計內容,仍以家長意見為主,而沒辦法納入未成年意見,這樣的諮商就失去意義。

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