The Federal Authorities
of the Swiss Confederation

Book Two: Specific Provisions
Title One: Offences against Life and Limb
< Art. 118 2. Abortion. / Illegal abortion
> Art. 120 2. Abortion. / Contraventions by physicians

Art. 1191

Legal abortion

1 The termination of a pregnancy is exempt from penalty in the event that the termination is, in the judgment of a physician, necessary in order to be able to prevent the pregnant woman from sustaining serious physical injury or serious psychological distress. The risk must be greater the more advanced the pregnancy is.

2 The termination of a pregnancy is likewise exempt from penalty if, at the written request of a pregnant woman, who claims that she is in a state of distress, it is performed within twelve weeks of the start of the pregnant woman’s last period by a physician who is licensed to practise his profession. The physician must have a detailed consultation with the woman prior to the termination and provide her with appropriate counselling.

3 If the woman is incapable of judgement, the consent of her legal representative is required.

4 The cantons designate the medical practices and hospitals that fulfil the requirements for the professional conduct of procedures to terminate pregnancy and for the provision of counselling.

5 An abortion is reported for statistical purposes to the competent health authority, whereby the anonymity of the woman concerned is guaranteed and medical confidentiality is preserved.


1 Amended by No I of the Federal Act of 23 March 2001 (Abortion), in force since 1 Oct. 2002 (AS 2002 2989 2992; BBl 1998 3005 5376).

English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.

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