On Wednesday 12 June during the 1st Spring Public Legislative Session, 4 pieces of legislation, including the decriminalization of abortion, were adopted unanimously by the National Council.
Voted through unanimously, Bill 234 on the decriminalization of abortion seeks to amend section 248 of the Penal Code, which defines and punishes abortion. This puts an end to criminal sanctions against women who have an abortion.
Twenty-four national councillors voted on the bill that stretches the limits imposed by the Church, which is very present in the Principality. Before 2009, Monaco had one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, only allowing the procedure if there was a risk of fatality for the mother. Although it has now been decriminalized, it is still currently only permitted in extreme cases (rape, fetal deformity, illness, or fatal danger to the mother).
Voted through unanimously, Bill 989 extends the duration of maternity leave from sixteen to eighteen weeks for female employees and also provides for the possibility of postponing prenatal leave by six weeks, compared to the current four weeks. This amends Act No. 870 of 17 July 1969 concerning the employment of employed women in the event of pregnancy or maternity.
Voted through unanimously, Bill 920 modernizes the right to adoption. While striving to simplify court proceedings, this bill highlights three fundamental points: the interest of the child, the importance of free and informed consent and the adequacy of adoption and family life.
Not much of a hot topic, Bill 983 on dentistry was also voted through unanimously. This bill amends a previous law that gives the dental surgeon profession a separate and independent Council from the Order of Physicians of the Principality, namely, the Council of the Order of Dental Surgeons.