Georgia looks to enforce tougher illegal abortion penalties

The changes in law foresee increase of imprisonment years for the person performing the illegal abortion. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 29 Jul 2014 - 18:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is set to enforce tougher penalties for those who undertake illegal abortions.

Changes to the Criminal Code of Georgia will see those involved in illegal abortions face up to 300 hours of community service to six years imprisonment.

Proposed amendments to the legislation, which is being spearheaded by Deputy Minister of Healthcare Dimitri Khundadze, will be discussed by the Legal Affairs Committee at their first hearing in the near future.

According to the changes, patients who decide to undergo an illegal abortion could be sentenced with 120 to 300 hours of community service, or a prison sentence from one to two years.

Furthermore, those who perform illegal abortions, or whose actions lead to the patient unable to give birth is punishable with imprisonment from two to five years. Illegal abortions which lead to the patient’s death is punishable from four to six years.

Head of the Procedural Issues Committee Giorgi Kaciani commented on the changes and said Georgia had a very liberal approach to abortions compared to international partners.

"Coming out of our reality, there is a need to further tighten the approach. Accordingly, sanctions should be increased against ilegal abortions which are followed by damages. The law foresaw imprisonment for three years and it is being increased from two to five years,” he said.

Latest data from the Ministry of Health revealed an extremely high number of legal abortions in Georgia. Figures showed about 40,000 abortions were performed in 2012 - 8,000 more than in 2011.

See the article on The lost girls – Georgians facing an ethical and moral dilemma