This month and for the first time in Spain’s history, girls aged 16 and above are allowed to terminate a pregnancy within the first 14 weeks without needing to inform their parents or give any reason for the termination.
The controversial abortion law which sought to relax the abortion laws which had been in place since 1985 have met with strong oppostion, especially from the Catholic Church in Spain.
Up until now, abortion has only been allowed under certain circumstances – up til the 12th week in the cases of rape or up to the 22nd week in cases of severe fetal malformation. Even then, it’s not always possible in every hospital. Any women seeking an abortion outside of these cases is potentially committing a crime.
The argument for bringing the new law into force is that it brings Spain into line with modern times and the reality of young pregnancies. In the UK, abortions are legal up til the 24th week but if there is severe risk to the mother’s life or major fetal abnormalities, there is no limit.
Spain is still very much a Catholic country and it’s not surprising that the abortion laws are less liberal here than in the UK but does it prevent abortions or drive those seeking terminations underground? Is it better to liberalise the system a bit or does the current system in the UK encourage unprotected sex among teenage girls? There’s very different opinions on these questions and for me personally, it very much depends on the individual, the circumstances, the future for the mother and child, the support the mother would have and generally whether she can give her child a decent start in life. I am neither pro- nor anti-abotion and believe that unfortunate incidences can happen and it may not always be the best time to fall pregnant if you are not ready but at the same time, abortion should definitely not be seen as a way out and excuse for unprotected sex or lack of birth control.
If you have any strong views, let us know, we’d love to hear from you and if you would like to share your views as a guest blogger or part of the MyBabySpain team then get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
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