TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia wants tougher punishment for carrying out illegal abortions.

Dimitry Khundadze, head of the health care committee in parliament from the government coalition, presented a draft bill on Tuesday which will amendments the Criminal Code.

According to the draft, illegal abortion will be punished with from 120 to 300 hours of community service or from one to two years in jail. If the abortion permanent damaged the ability to give birth, it will be punished by from two to five years in jail, and if the illegal abortion caused death, it will be punished by up to six years in jail.

Giorgi Kakhiani, a member of parliament for the government coalition, says that it is necessary to have tougher regulations of illegal abortions because it has been too liberal in his opinion. He said, if an illegal abortion causes death, until now, it has been punished with up to three years in jail.

The explanatory note of the draft says that not many countries have such a liberal policy toward illegal abortions as Georgia.

According to the most recent data from Georgia’s National Statistics Department, there were 30,600 registered abortions in 2011. The number of abortions has increased in recent years: In 2007, it was 20,600; 22,100 in 2008; 24,300 in 2009 and 25,600 in 2010.

There is no data about illegal abortions in Georgia.

Last year, the Georgian Patriarch proposed to ban abortions. Many voiced opposition to a ban, including government officials, who argued that banning abortion would only encourage illegal abortions.

The judiciary committee in parliament had the first review of the bill on illegal abortions on Tuesday.