Artificial Termination of Pregnancy in the Republic of Armenia

Today, women all over the world have the opportunity to terminate their pregnancies, which, for whatever reason, are unwanted, despite the fact that this threatens the life of the woman and the unborn child. We all know that abortion has an adverse effect on a woman’s health, especially during adolescence. Some women even decide to resort to artificial termination of pregnancy outside the medical institution, i.e. resort to illegal abortion.

The presence of selective abortions in the territory of Armenia is conditioned by a number of factors, among which we can single out, first, the difficult socio-economic situation of the Armenian people, second, extramarital relationships between partners, third, the low level of sex education, etc.

And the most anti-acceptable reason for which the Armenian citizens resort to selective abortion is the sex of the fetus.

Unfortunately, there is a deep-seated desire in our mentality to have a male child, which is conditioned by the necessity of continuing the Armenian lineage, having an heir, etc.

Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned circumstances, it is very important for the Republic of Armenia to legally regulate this sphere in order to ensure the health of women living in Armenia.

Since December 11, 2002, the RA Law “On Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights” is in force in Armenia.

Article 10 of the aforementioned law is devoted to induced termination of pregnancy (abortion).

The first part of this article states that every woman in Armenia has the right to an artificial termination of pregnancy.

The Armenian legislator, unlike, for example, the Polish one, gives women the right to decide the issue of motherhood independently. In Poland, abortion is forbidden by law, except in exceptional cases, which to some extent limits women’s rights in the area of maternity.

However, the Armenian legislator has set a time limit within which a woman can exercise this right. The time limit is set at 12 weeks from the moment of conception of the child.

If the woman wants to have an abortion before the twelfth week, she simply has to submit a written application to the relevant medical committee.

If the desire to terminate pregnancy comes from a minor, then the application must be filed with the consent of her parents or other legal representatives, and if that is not possible, then the application should be made based on the protocol of the Medical Committee of the Republic of Armenia (Part 4, Article 10 of the Law “On Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights”).

If the necessity for an abortion has arisen between 12 and 22 weeks, then the abortion is possible only for medico-social reasons with the consent of the woman.

 According to statistical data of the National Health Institute of the Republic of Armenia, the number of abortions in the Republic of Armenia has decreased over the past 15 years, but we should not forget about the decrease in the Armenian population due to emigration and other social factors.

The Armenian population can benefit from organizing informative courses on sexual health, puberty and alternative methods of avoiding unwanted pregnancies. This approach will make it possible to educate informed Armenian citizens and avoid sexual diseases, unwanted pregnancies and abortions in the future.

In our opinion, in order to eliminate the demographic crisis in Armenia it is necessary to include an article in the RA Law “On Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights”, which should clearly stipulate that selective abortion is forbidden in Armenia, otherwise the guilty medical workers will be held administratively liable.

The Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia also touches upon the issue of termination of pregnancy to some extent. If a person deliberately causes bodily harm or other serious harm to another person’s health, which results in the termination of a pregnancy, he or she shall be held criminally liable. In Armenia this act is punished with three to seven years of imprisonment (Article 112 of RA Criminal Code).

To sum up, we advise you to be fully informed about your legal issue in the sphere of health care in order to provide legal protection of your rights, freedoms and interests to the full extent.