In Switzerland, abortion is not punishable if a woman demands the abortion in writing within twelve weeks of the start of her last period and can claim a situation of distress. The doctor must discuss the matter with the woman in detail and advise her on the options. The woman will also receive a list of the agencies and associations that can provide moral or financial support. She will also be informed about the possibility of giving the child up for adoption at birth.
Pregnant girls aged under 16 are obliged to visit a specialist youth counsellor. The cantons must designate hospitals and medical practices which meet set criteria for offering thorough counselling and carrying out terminations properly.
Swiss Penal Code (Abortion). Amended on 23 March 2001, in force since 1 October 2002.
Schweizerisches Strafgesetzbuch (Schwangerschaftsabbruch)
(AS 2002 2989)
Code pénal suisse (Interruption de grossesse)
(RO 2002 2989)
Codice penale svizzero (Interruzione della gravidanza)
(RU 2002 2989)
For the complete documentation see the pages in German, French or Italian.
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Last modification 07.06.2005
Federal Office of Justice
Criminal Law Division
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