Abortion in Denmark was fully legalized on 1 October 1973, allowing the procedure to be done on-demand if a woman's pregnancy has not exceeded its twelfth week. The patient must be over the age of 18 to decide on an abortion alone; parental consent is required if she is a minor. An abortion can be performed after 12 weeks if the woman's life or health are in danger. A woman may also be granted an authorization to abort after 12 weeks if certain circumstances are proved to be present (such as poor socioeconomic condition of the woman; risk of birth defects to fetus; the pregnancy being the result of rape; mental health risk to mother).
Abortion was first allowed in 1939 by application; if the doctors deemed the pregnancy fell into one of three categories (harmful or fatal to the mother, high risk for birth defects, or a pregnancy borne out of rape), a woman could legally have her pregnancy terminated. A little more than half of the applications received in 1954 and 1955 were accepted; the low acceptance rates were linked to a surge of illegal abortions performed outside the confines of hospitals. An addendum to the 1939 law was passed on 24 March 1970, allowing on-demand abortions only for women under the age of 18 who were deemed "ill-equipped for motherhood," and women over the age of 38.
The 1973 law is still valid today and nullifies the 1970 law.
As of 2010[update], the abortion rate was 15.2 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 years.