Anti-abortion harassment is now a punishable offence in Spain

Anti-abortion harassment is officially a punishable offence in Spain as of Thursday 14, April.

Harassment of a woman for attending an abortion clinic to voluntarily terminate her pregnancy or harassing the professionals who perform the procedure will be considered a criminal offence as of Thursday 14, April, punishable by between three months and one year in prison or community service.

This reform of the Penal Code, published on Wednesday, 12, April in the Official State Gazette (BOE), states that it will punish anyone who “obstructs the exercise of the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy” and harasses a woman “by means of annoying, offensive, intimidating or coercive acts that undermine her freedom”. This reform also includes the harassment of medical professionals who perform abortions and follows recommendations of the World Health Organisation, that called for ensuring the confidentiality of women.

The law aims to guarantee a secure area around abortion clinics to help guarantee the privacy of women, their freedom and physical safety, as well as their sexual rights.The prosecution of these types of harassment can be done without the harassed person filing an official complaint, and the court may also impose restrictions on certain places where a convicted person will not be able to go for a period of between six months and three years.

The law comes after a report made in 2018 by the Association of Accredited Pregnancy Termination Clinics that warned that thousands of women had been “harassed, insulted, coerced or threatened in any way” when going to these centres.

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at