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Dutch News
Abortion and Euthanasia Stay 2/9/2007
7 February 2007

AMSTERDAM — The new government is going to take steps to decrease the number of abortions, discourage euthanasia and finance research into the ethics of stem cell use in medical treatment, Reformatisch Dagblad writes.

The coalition accord signed by the Christian Democrats (CDA), the Labour Party (PvdA) and ChristenUnie (CU) on Monday includes a section on medical ethics.

Abortion and euthanasia will remain legal.

Meanwhile, the new government will also devote more attention to alternatives to terminating a pregnancy, including improvements to adoption laws and better maternal aid programmes. Teenage mothers will have more opportunities to find day-care.

Schools will be asked to introduce extra classroom hours of sexual education. A separate sexual education programme will be developed for immigrant girls and women.

There will also be a survey carried out into why women decide to terminate a pregnancy. Earlier surveys showed that some women asked for abortions because they had planned a vacation or because they learned that the foetus had a hare lip. The psychological consequences of an abortion will also be studied.

The five-day decision period currently required prior to an abortion will remain. Despite much protest by gynaecologists, the late stage abortions will remain no exception to the five-day regulation.

More attention will be given to palliative care, hospices will get extra financing.

Embryo cloning for stem cell production will remain banned.

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