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POLICIES
With 80% of the population against

Spain abandons plan to introduce new abortion law


Government fails to reach consensus over making abortion illegal except in case of rape or when mother´s health is at risk. The changes would have made Spain one of the toughest countries in Europe in which to get an abortion.
Ibercampus 24/9/2014 Send to a friend
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The Spanish government has abandoned its plans to tighten the country’s liberal abortion laws, ending months of speculation and prompting the resignation of the justice minister charged with enacting some of the toughest legislation on the issue in Europe.  The changes would have made Spain one of the toughest countries in Europe in which to get an abortion.

Last December, the conservative People’s party (PP) announced plans to tighten the country’s liberal laws by making abortion illegal except in the case of rape or when there was risk to the mother’s physical and mental health. Women wanting an abortion would have needed two doctors to verify those conditions.

Tens of thousands rallied against the changes, taking to streets across the country to protest against what they called a step backwards. Polls showed that between 70% and 80% of the population was opposed to the idea.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday scrapped proposed changes in the abortion law that would have made Spain one of the most difficult countries in Europe in which to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, prompting the justice minister to resign.

The previous Socialist government changed the abortion law in 2010, allowing women to terminate unwanted pregnancies on demand within 14 weeks, or up to 22 weeks in cases of severe abnormalities, putting Spain in line with most of Western Europe.

Abortion was first decriminalized in Spain in 1985 in the cases of malformed fetuses, rape or potential mental or physical damage to the mother.

Most European countries offer abortion on request, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with 88 percent allowing the termination of pregnancies if the fetus is thought to be impaired or in cases of rape or incest.

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