Abortion is legal in the Netherlands, under the following conditions:
- The abortion must be performed in an abortion clinic or a hospital that has an license to perform abortion.
- It is an emergency situation. The law does not specify exactly what an “emergency situation” is. The woman decides herself whether it is an emergency situation.
- Before the abortion, a decision making consultation must take place with a general practitioner. After this consultation, a legally mandatory period of 5 days starts in which you can consider your decision. After this period the abortion is carried out, unless the woman changed her mind in the meantime.
- You can also go to an abortion clinic directly. The period of 5 days starts from the moment you have consulted the doctor at the clinic.
- Up to 16 days of pregnancy you can have an early abortion. In this case you do not need to be referred by a doctor, and there is no legally mandatory reflection period.
- In the Netherlands, abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. This has been established in law because a child up to 24 weeks cannot live outside the uterus. In practice, an abortion is usually performed up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.
From the age of 16, a woman decides about an abortion herself. Her partner cannot take this decision and does not need to be informed.
Women under the age of 16 need the permission of their parent or guardian. If this is not possible, go to your general practitioner or directly to an abortion clinic. In many cases, this means that parental permission is not required.
Where can I have an abortion?
In the Netherlands, you can go to an abortion clinic or a hospital with a licence for performing abortions if you want to have an abortion.
After an abortion
An abortion can be an emotionally disturbing event. If you want to talk about it, you can contact your general practitioner or Fiom.
Costs of abortion
Everybody who legally resides or works in the Netherlands is insured for abortion and is entitled to free treatment. People who reside illegally in the Netherlands and people residing temporarily in the Netherlands are usually not insured. In that case you can use the procedure for medically necessary care.