The Organic Laws and Statues Bureau of Taiwan’s legislature has released a report suggesting changes to the nation’s abortion laws to give women greater control over their reproductive rights. The report proposes changes to the Genetic Health Act, which currently states that married women need spousal consent to have an abortion unless the spouse is mentally ill or unconscious, reports the Taipei Times. The bureau proposes that women should be able to obtain abortions without spousal consent.
The bureau proposed several other changes to reproductive health law. Married individuals should be able to have a tubal ligation or vasectomy without spousal consent, the report suggests, and 18 or 19-year-old unmarried women should be able to obtain an abortion without parental approval. Under current law, teenage women must have parental consent to have an abortion, according to the Kaiser Network. In 2006, the Kaiser Network reported that the estimated number of abortions in Taiwan might surpass 230,000, the annual birth rate at the time.