The majority voted to amend the existing law that criminalises abortion, pledging support to a plan seeking to tackle unregulated terminations by non-medical practitioners.
Last week an amendment was passed by the lower house that followed on from a Constitutional Court ruling last February stating that criminalising abortion was both unconstitutional and a violation of human rights.
The amendment proposes that any abortion undertaken after the 12 week timeline would only be allowed if a certified doctor deems there is a high risk of fetal impairment, danger to the life of the mother, or if a pregnancy was the result of rape, deception or coercion.
Those that did not meet this criteria would otherwise be punishable by up to six months in prison, or a fine of up to B10,000 or both.
“This means abortion is conditional and can only be done by doctors according to the law,” Senator Wanlop Tangkhananurak said on Monday.
The proposal was not met favourably by pro-choice activists who argued that maintaining penalties would ensure the stigma of abortion continues and not protect the rights of the mother.
“We want all penalties to be revoked because it is a person’s right to abort a pregnancy without being punished,” Nisarat Jongwisan, councillor and activist at Tam Tang, a pro-choice group said.