The controversial case on reform of abortion law in Spain

© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock


The situation in Spain

Since the beginning of the crisis with the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the mistrust that flooded the country with respect to their political representatives has not ceased to increase. In fact, the elections to Parliament were held four months ahead of schedule due to the decision of that then Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, carry out an electoral advancement, since the originally planned date was the April 8 of 2012 .
After winning that election to Parliament in 2011, the Popular Party (PP) led by Mariano Rajoy, has experienced numerous events that have marked the Spanish society. These events not only did that Spaniards remain uneasy and unhappy but that it has also cost the resignation of certain members as happened in the controversial case on reform of the abortion law.
Within the electoral program of the party, they had planned to make a change in the law on abortion which had previously been modified by previous political party (PSOE).
The Council of Ministers approved the draft on December 20, 2013 being the most restrictive abortion law of democracy in a country in which 120,000 abortions are practiced every year, the highest average in Europe. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Minister of Justice will place name. The new regulations will be called law for the protection of the life of the conceived and the rights of the pregnant woman, in that order; Gallardon said that it was made in order to protect “the more weak: those conceived and unborn », but « always in the interest of the woman » and also respecting their rights.


The statements of the law and its perception

Terminate the pregnancy will no longer be a women’s right in the first 14 weeks – a right that exists only since 2010 – and will be a crime decriminalized in certain cases, as it was with the law of 1985. But those assumptions are reduced, and the possibility of women eligible for them is restricted. There will only be two: rape and « grave danger to the life or physical or mental health » of the woman. They will be again, doctors – with more stringent requirements than in 1985 and a longer procedure – all of which will decide if that danger exists. The presence of serious fetal malformations will not be reason for abortion, although it will be the psychological effect that may have on pregnant women.
Following the adoption of this reform, a large part of the Spanish people has not stopped marching both against and in favor. It is a very sensitive and delicate issue since it comes into play the question of when the fetus is begins considered a human being after its conception.
Testimonials like that of a couple, Luis and Esperanza, which considers insufficient the proposal reform saying that even if economic, health, psychological reasons or a fetal malformation, nothing justifies abortion as well as lead to the extermination of our own civilization. However according to Diego Fernández Álvarez, the law annihilates completely the will of women already considering that for time first in many years women will be supervised by a doctor or a judge, which are always people strange, totally beyond their convictions, their innermost feelings to their beliefs.
According to a recent study, more than one quarter of women who abort in Spain do so for economic reasons. Help pregnant women and mothers in difficulty is the goal of the Private Foundation Madrina. This Foundation proposes food aid, housing or to seek employment as well as a system to support pregnant women.


The finally decision

However, after all the controversy caused not only at the national level, the only reform on this abortion law has been that women under age require authorization from their parents or legal representatives. The President has argued that « The Government has made the greatest efforts to try to reach the largest possible understandings », but acknowledged that it is « an issue affecting deep and personal convictions of its citizens ». « Have to take it very seriously and I take it very seriously, » he said to recognize that abortion is an issue « that generates division because there are forms very ways of seeing it ». However, has insisted that his « position knows it » around the world because resorted the law Aido before the Constitutional Court. All of this has led to the voluntary resignation of the Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, in addition to the loss of support at the national level since fellow citizens with the party must question whether in the next elections they won’t try to reform.



 The law in Europe

Regarding Europe, the abortion law is based on two models mainly regulated:

  • The model of indications, which defends the foetus’ right of life and only in certain cases when it does not depend on only the decision of the pregnant woman it can carry out. This model is followed by Italy, Finland, Luxembourg, Poland and, with nuances, United Kingdom legislation.
  • The model of deadlines which defends the right of pregnant women to make its decision within a period of weeks established according to the country. Said model is followed by the laws of Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden, France and Belgium. Only Sweden and the Netherlands established a longer term than to abort.



Sources (accessed 29/11/2014) (accessed 29/11/2014) (accessed 29/11/2014) (accessed 29/11/2014) (accessed 29/11/2014)

Anónimo, la ley Aído convertirá a España en el país europeo que menos protege la vida, DA/Informe-juridico-aborto-europa.2009. (accessed 29/11/2014)