Abortion in Albania was fully legalized on December 7, 1995. Abortion can be performed on demand until the twelfth week of pregnancy. Women must undergo counseling for a week prior to the procedure, and hospitals which perform abortions are not allowed to release information to the public regarding which women they have treated.
During the government of Enver Hoxha, Albania had a natalist policy, leading women to have abortions performed illegally or inducing them on their own. Eventually the country had the second-highest maternal mortality rate in all of Europe, and it was estimated that 50% of all pregnancies ended in an abortion. Women found guilty of aborting their pregnancies would either be shamed socially by the Communist Party or sent to work in a reeducation program.
In 1989 abortion was legalized in the case of rape and incest or if the patient was under the age of 16. In 1991 abortion-by-application was introduced, allowing women to terminate their pregnancies for a variety of reasons if a board of medical practitioners agreed it was the best decision. The 1995 law nullifies all previous laws.
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