Spain Considers Liberalizing Abortion Law

Spearheaded by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish government is drafting legislation to ease the country’s restrictive abortion law and legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Under current Spanish law, abortion is only permitted in limited cases of rape, congenital disorders, or to preserve a woman’s health or life.

Spain’s Minister for Equality Bibiana Aído said that while Spain boasted equality laws that were among the most progressive in Europe, the country was a laggard when it came to abortion. First trimester abortion is virtually unrestricted in most European countries, though it is still outlawed in Ireland. Two years ago, Portugal legalized abortion up to the 10th week of pregnancy.

Access to safe, legal abortion care is essential to women’s health. When abortion is illegal or highly restricted, many women resort to dangerous self-induced or back-alley procedures in order to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. In the United States and other countries, there has been a dramatic decrease in pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity rates since the legalization of abortion.

>Learn more about international abortion issues.

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