Majority of MP's vote to eliminate five-day wait before abortions
The Tweede Kamer voted to end the mandatory five-day waiting period for women who want to have an abortion. In total, 101 Members of Parliament voted in favor of a bill that was put forward by members of the PvdA, GroenLinks, VVD, and D66. A total of 38 MPs voted against the measure.
The measure will now head to the Eerste Kamer. If a majority of senators vote in favor of the private member's bill, the Cabinet will ratify it.
Members of Parliament were not obliged to vote along party lines, nor did coalition parties have to stick together under the terms of the coalition agreement. The four parties that submitted the bill combine for 75 out of the 150 seats in the lower house. Normally, political factions vote as a unified bloc, but with this proposal there were also differences within the parties. Thus, all MPs were permitted to cast a vote however they wished.
There were deep divisions within the governing coalition. The VVD overwhelmingly supported an end to the deliberation period, but Thierry Aartsen and Daniel Koerhuis voted against it. Coalition partners D66 were in favor of the bill, while CDA and ChristenUnie also voted against it. In the PVV, about half of the MPs voted in favor and half against.
The CDA had proposed to amend the bill in such a way that the mandatory waiting period of five days remains a starting point, with the option of deviating from it. Pepijn van Houwelingen of FVD suggested that women who want to terminate a pregnancy should first have to undergo an ultrasound. Both proposals failed.
Reporting by ANP.