The Spanish Government has presented a new draft for the abortion law
As it was announced since last November 2014, when the former Justice Minister A. Ruiz Gallardón and his draft law fell down, the Government’s ruling party PP has presented on February 18 formally the new draft for the abortion law in the Parliament.
The proposal only eliminates part of the article 13 of the current 2010 Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy, concerning minors, which establishes, that “ in the case of women aged 16 and 17, the woman shall be the only person entitled to provide consent for voluntary termination of pregnancy in accordance with the general provisions applicable to women of legal age”. At least one authorized representative; parent, guardian or person with parental responsibility must be informed of her decision, but under special, certain circumstances, like domestic violence, threats or physical abuse, this requirement can be dispensed.
So, in the next future minors between 16 and 18 will have to inform and need consent of the authorized representative, even in situations of conflict.
The PP spokesman in Congress Rafael Hernando also said, that nothing of the draft which will be passed will be final before the Constitutional Court gives its verdict. The debate in Parliament will probably not change anything, in spite of the refusal of the opposition parties, because of the absolute majority of the Government’s party in Parliament.
What’s the reality?
According to the data published by the Minister of Health, the absolute number of abortions since 2011 has shown a significant reduction (2011: 118 359, 2012: 112 390, 2013: 108 390), the abortion rate as well, going from 12,44 in 2011 to 11,74 in 2013.
The data presented by ACAI, based on 25 394 women which asked for a TOP in 22 clinics from all over Spain during 9 months, show that 914 (3,6 %) were aged 16 and 17. In that group, only 113 came alone to perform the abortion, representing 12,38 % of the minors and 0,44% of the total number of women. This means for the 2013 data (108 390) that about 400 young women would not have this option in the future and could be unfortunate candidates for unsafe abortion.
It is also important to remark, that another law, the Law on Patient’s Autonomy, gives minors over 16 years autonomy to take decisions (and of course to refuse) on any kind of measurements of diagnosis or therapy related to their own health.
The reality is that the Spanish society has changed in the last 40 years since the first 1985 abortion law and that there is majority, which accept the current law. The only reason of the Government to present a new draft law is to recover the right wing of their voters, following the bad results of the election surveys presented in the last times. Once again: Political against public health reasons.