Termination of pregnancy legislation has changed in many other countries and jurisdictions during this time, prompting the health minister to check if Jersey's "reflects societal values, meets the needs of women and takes account of changes in medical practice.".
One place that updated its abortion law recently was Guernsey, who voted to increase the time limits on legal abortions from 12 to 24 weeks in July 2021.
However, Jersey's law currently prevents the termination of a pregnancy after the 12th week apart from certain circumstances.
If a woman needs the procedure after this time limit, they need to travel off-island, with the majority going to the UK.
There are situations when a termination is legal after the 12th week - in order for it to be granted, however, two doctors approved by the Health and Community Services Department have to agree on one of the following:
It is needed to save the woman’s life or to prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health (there is no time limit in this circumstance so a termination can take place at any time during the pregnancy).
The woman is no more than 24 weeks pregnant and there is a serious risk that if born, the child would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to have a serious disability.
In 2022, around 97% of all abortions took place at 12 weeks gestation or less, with 87% of those performed at less than 10 weeks.
More information on the government survey, and the current abortion law in Jersey, can be found here.
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