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The road towards the abortion law

Until 1960, abortion was a criminal offense in Norway. Earlier times, unwanted pregnancies were defeated with knitting needles, jumping on stairs, hot tubs and more. For women, this has always been an important issue, and women began in the early nineteenth century the struggle for the right to abortion. In 1978 the law on abortion came in Norway, but not without much resistance. Since then, abortion figures remained fairly constant in Norway. Every year there are about 15,000 abortions in Norwegian hospitals. Every third woman in Norway has experienced an abortion. It is performed annually about 2,400 abortions among adolescents, aged 13-19 years. More statistics on abortion are to find at the Folkehelseinstituttet.

Here you will find abortion law.

Abortion Methods

We distinguish between medical and surgical abortion.

Medical abortion

The woman gets a tablet in the hospital, go home and come back to the hospital after two days (the procedure varies from hospital to hospital). At the hospital, it is inserted a suppository into the vagina and the contents of the uterus is shed after three to six hours. During those hours, the woman stays in the hospital. Medical abortion can be done until 12 weeks of pregnancy. The method is performed without anesthesia.

Some hospitals also offer medical abortion at home. For more information about the options available, please contact the nearest hospital or Amathea for information on how to contact the nearest hospital.

Surgical abortion

The procedure is done with general anesthesia and lasts for 15-30 minutes. The woman will have to stay one day in the hospital. This procedure is performed until the end of the 12. week of the pregnancy. Interventions could be made later, but must be applied for in particular (see legislation). If you make the decided to have an abortion, please contact your doctor for referral to hospital. You may also contact the gynecological department at the hospital directly, to book an appointment without seeing a doctor first. Information about the first day of last menstrual period should always be given. All doctors have a duty to help you promote a petition for an abortion if you are less than 12 weeks pregnant, and to seek an abortion if you are more than 12 weeks pregnant.

Who decides if I get an abortion?

It’s up to you – but only if you are less than 12 weeks pregnant. You have to sign a form called “Request for abortion.” This is done either at a doctor in advance, or at the hospital. If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant, the doctor must submit an application for you to Abortion Advisory Board at the hospital to which you belong. The application shall contain the main reasons why you are seeking abortion.

How far along are you?

You have to count from the first day of the last menstruation: If your period started on 1 January, you’re 12 weeks pregnant 26 March. After 12 weeks, it is no longer you who can make the decision. You can not count weeks of pregnancy from the date you believe you have been fertilized. Abortion Committee does not count like that. Do not wait to long, if you want to have an abortion. It may take time to get an appointment at the hospital. Abortions are carried out in all public hospitals. The procedure is free if you have a Norwegian social security number.


• Is it right that it is only the girl who should have the last word when it comes to abortion?

• Young people say they know a lot about sex, but little about abortion. Is this true for you?

• What do you want to know more about?



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