Spanish Govt plans to tighten abortion laws

The Spanish Government is planning to tighten the country’s liberal abortion law which allows abortion on demand up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy.

The governing People’s Party bids to restrict abortion to cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother’s psychological or physical health or in cases of rape, though the full draft of proposals are yet to be tabled.

Plans are also expected to include legislation ensuring 16 and 17-year-olds will have to obtain permission from their parents if they want to have an abortion.


The Government plans to overturn laws weakened by Spain’s Socialist Party in 2010. Alongside abortion on demand, the party brought in reforms allowing abortions up to 22 weeks in cases where the mother’s health is at risk or the unborn baby shows serious deformities.

Spain’s Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon has indicated that he would like to return to a system similar to the country’s 1985 abortion law where termination of pregnancy would be allowed only in the case of rape, or when the physical or mental health of the mother is at risk.


In 2009 up to two million people took to the streets in Spain to protest against the plans to weaken the country’s abortion law.

Organisers said people travelled to the rally from various cities across Spain, and it had the support of 234 pro-life groups from 45 countries.

Again in 2010 tens of thousands of pro-life demonstrators marched through Spanish cities protesting against a controversial bill passed by the Spanish Senate to allow abortion on demand up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy.

“We are demanding the right to life”, Marta Puig, one of the protestors, said: “The children are not guilty if their parents want or don’t want them.

“They should have thought about it before”, she added.


Figures from the United Nations revealed that in 2008 there were 115,812 abortions in Spain.

The UK had the highest number of abortions in Europe with 215,975 terminations taking place in that year.

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