Spanish government makes new proposal to reform abortion law

A NEW draft to modify Spain’s abortion law has been put forward by the government.

The PP conservative party spokesperson, Rafael Hernando, has presented an amendment by which women aged 16 and 17 years old would need their parents’ or a guardian’s authorisation to undergo an abortion.

Mr Hernando claimed that there exists a ‘social consensus’ that supports this modification to prevent minors from interrupting pregnancy without their parents’ permission. He added that the party’s goal is to have the law approved and passed before the end of March.

The text eliminates the article of the 2010 law that reads: “Consent for voluntary interruption of pregnancy is given exclusively by them (women of 16 and 17 years old).”

In the case of a conflict between the woman and her parents, the new modification would have it “solved complying with laws displayed in the Civil Code,” through the legal system.

The PP conservative party through former Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, attempted to pass a stricter modification back in 2013, effectively banning abortion in all but a few limited cases.

The proposal met with great resistance from the Spanish population, as it was deemed regressive and a threat to women’s rights. Ruiz-Gallardon announced his resignation in September of 2014, after the draft was rejected by the government.

This new law is already facing criticism from several associations, such as Acai (Association of Authorised Clinics for Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy).

Acai said that currently, almost a 90 per cent of minors who chose to interrupt their pregnancy informed their parents and were accompanied by them during the procedure. They argue that the new modification from the PP, “does not protect the girls who are already protected, but puts at risk those who cannot communicate with their parents or guardians for diverse reasons.”

Acai estimate that around 400 young women a year would be put at risk of social exclusion or violence by the proposal. They also warn that women would have to undergo the procedure in a clandestine way, putting themselves at risk, instead of having a safe, legal procedure.


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