Also during its session on Monday, the government rejected a bill against abortions that was submitted by nine opposition deputies. Under the bill, doctors who perform abortions can face up to five years in prison and can furthermore loose their medical licence. Any other person who advises or helps a woman undergo an abortion can also face up to a year in prison, while the woman herself will not be punished. Abortions are only granted in exceptional cases such as when they can save a woman's life, or when the pregnancy was a result of rape. The authors of the bill have said they did not expect it to be approved by the cabinet, nor by parliament, but hoped it would result in further discussion on the controversial issue. Statistics show that since the fall of Communism in 1989, the number of abortions has been decreasing significantly. While in 1990, some 100,000 were carried out, only a little under double that number were performed in the past five years.
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