Abortion to be offered in all public hospitals in Spain and over-16s will not need parental consent

Image: Irene Montero Twitter

The reform of the abortion law by the Spanish Ministry of Equality will mean that abortion services are offered in all public hospitals and that anyone over the age of 16 will not need parental consent.

According to the Spanish minister of Equality, Irene Montero, the reform of the abortion law is well underway. The Ministry has been working on the proposal for several months. “Voluntary termination of pregnancy will be guaranteed in all public hospitals”, Montero stated at the Congressional Equality Commission. She also outlined some of the main points from the text, which is not yet public and which will have to be negotiated within the Government before it can be approved as a draft bill.

Although Montero acknowledged “the important progress” made by the law in 2010, she also highlighted the need to update it twelve years later in view of the “obstacles” that “still hinder full access” to these rights. There are currently entire hospitals that give conscientious objection as a reason not to carry out abortions, even in cases where there is a risk to life. There are also provinces where it is impossible to have an abortion because there are no clinics that can provide the service, which means that thousands of women have to travel every year for such purposes.

The aim of the reform is to ensure that all hospitals have health professionals who are willing to perform the procedure. “We will scrupulously respect the right to conscientious objection and we will make it scrupulously compatible with the right of women to decide about their own bodies,” the minister stated.

The ministry’s plans also include restoring the right of 16- and 17-year-olds to have an abortion without parental consent after the Popular Party reformed the law to take it away from them in 2015. “In the same way that they are responsible for working or having sex, they are responsible for deciding about their own bodies,” said the minister.

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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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