KATHMANDU, October 17, 2001 ( – Less than two months after being told to do so by the United Nations, Nepal’s MPs have, for the first time, voted to legalize abortion. On Tuesday Oct. 9, the House of Representatives approved the 11th Amendment to the Civil Code allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy and abortion at any time where pregnancy poses any danger to the physical or mental health of the mother or if the child will be disabled.

Agence France Presse reported that 112 MPs in the 205-member house voted for the bill and 92 voted against. According to the bill, a woman’s husband or guardian must give consent for the abortion in all cases. Parliamentary officials suggested that the bill would pass the Upper House and be signed by King Gyanendra within two months.

LifeSite has obtained the UN committee document explicitly demanding Nepal to legalize abortion. Although the UN claims it does not promote abortions in countries where the practice is against the law, on August 31, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights did just that. In its Concluding Observations of the Committee on Nepal, the UN Committee states, “The Committee urges the State party to take remedial action to address the problems of clandestine abortions, unwanted pregnancies and the high rate of maternal mortality. In this regard, the Committee urges the State party to reinforce reproductive and sexual health programmes, in particular in rural areas, and to allow abortion when pregnancies are life threatening or a result of rape or incest.”

(with files from Pro-Life E-News)