Human Rights Policy and Nonprofit Organizational Development

Policy Blog: Decriminalization of abortion is coming down the pipeline in Spain

In Policy Blog on March 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

The Spanish Parliament is considering legislation that would decriminalize abortion, bringing Spain into line with the vast majority of European countries.  In Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the Ukraine all permit abortion on demand up to the 12th week of gestation. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden all have even longer terms for abortion upon request. 

The liberalization of Spanish law would also answer the call of the Council of Europe‘s Parliamentary Assembly  to “decriminalize abortion within reasonable gestational limits” in its recent Resolution on Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, passed by a large majority in April 2008.

The legislation is still being drafted by the Ministry of Equality, but will likely pass given broad support by left-leaning parties in the Parliament.  Recommendations on the bill’s content have been submitted by a panel of experts as well as by a legislative sub-commission on the issue.  Both called for a holistic law which addresses contraception, sexual and reproductive health, and specifically the needs of adolescents.

Of course, the Catholic church is fighting back.  You would think the Pope would take a break after the scandal over the church’s involvement in Brazil, but its assault on women’s rights knows no bounds.

Here’s a great editorial on the law from El Pais.


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