Spain recently passed a new law granting teenagers unrestricted access to abortion without requiring parental consent. Under the new legislation, minors who are 16 or 17 years old can obtain an abortion without notifying their parents or seeking their permission.
The law also provides that girls under the age of 16 may access the procedure with the consent of their parents or legal guardians, but if they are unable or unwilling to provide their consent, they can still receive the abortion if a healthcare professional deems it to be in their best interest.
The legislation, which has been the subject of heated debate, was passed in the Spanish Congress in late 2022 and has now come into effect.
Spain, a traditionally Catholic country, has long been known for its conservative stance on social issues, including abortion. Until 2010, abortion was heavily restricted in Spain, and it was only permitted in cases of rape, fetal malformation, or risk to the woman’s health (though intentionally killing the child is not necessary to protect a woman’s health). However, in 2010, the government passed a law that allowed unrestricted abortion access during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, as well as up to 22 weeks in some cases.
In 2010, parental notification laws were abolished in Spain, only to be reinstated in 2015 under a more conservative government. The new legislation restores the previous law, which allows minors as young as 16 to obtain an abortion without parental notification.
According to data from the Spanish Ministry of Health, over two million abortions have been committed in the country since it was legalized in 1985.
Under the new law, abortions can also be carried out in a state hospital. Currently, many abortions are committed at private facilities because public system doctors refuse to kill their preborn patients. Live Action News previously reported that while conscientious objection is permitted in Spain, the new law mandates the creation of a registry that will include the names of all medical professionals who decline to perform or aid in abortions.
Additionally, the law allows women to obtain the morning-after pill without a prescription. This drug is not the same as the abortion pill.
The new law has been met with opposition from a number of pro-life groups, including the Spanish branch of 40 Days for Life. The group has expressed its disappointment with the new legislation, calling it a “death sentence for Spain” and accusing the country’s institutions of failing its citizens. Protests have been held across the country by various pro-life groups calling for the law to be repealed.
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