The Monaco Government has proposed a new law decriminalising abortion, but stopping short of legalising the practice.

Women will be able to seek abortions before the 12th week of pregnancy, providing the procedure is carried out outside Monaco. It will remain a criminal offence for doctors to perform an abortion within the Principality.

“This law provides for an appropriate response to the distress of a pregnant woman, who will no longer face punishment but will be listened to and assisted,” the government said. “It will also preserve the fundamental value of an unborn child’s right to life and the principles of the state religion,” it said. The draft law will go before the elected National Council for consideration, and is expected to pass.

PHOTO: Monaco’s National Council in session