Friday, February 26, 2010

Spanish Senate Approves Law Permitting Abortion on Demand as a 'Right'

Law now passes to king for final promulgation

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

MADRID, February 25, 2010 ( - The Spanish Senate yesterday gave final approval to Spain's new "abortion law," which declares that abortion is a "right," and permits the procedure for any reason during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The law will now pass to King Don Carlos I, who is expected to sign and promulgate the law. He has been urged by a group of Catholic theologians, however, not to sign it. But if he does, the law will take effect in four months.

The law, entitled the "Organic Law of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy," will also allow adolescents as young as 16 to obtain an abortion without their parents' consent, although a compromise amendment will require them simply to inform their parents.

It also decrees mandatory sex education, which must "contemplate" teaching the "recognition and acceptance of sexual diversity" as well as the "prevention of unplanned pregnancies," according to the last version of the law posted on the internet, in October 2009.

Bnigno Blanco, the president of Spain's Family Forum, called Wednesday "a very sad day in the history of Spain" and said that he would work to overturn it, according to Europa Press.

The president of the Family Policy Institute, Eduardo Hertfelder, called the law "absolutely regressive" and said that it "attacks the Constitution and the backbone of the society."

"Despite the fact that there are 115,000 abortions each year, it will increase with this (law)," he added.

The new legislation represents a major change in the existing laws governing abortion in Spain.

Under current law, abortions may only be carried out if a special condition exists, such as a threat to the mother's health or life, and cases of rape or fetal deformity.

However, Spain's abortion industry has used easy diagnoses of risks to the "mental health" of the mother to justify abortions for years, and the number has climbed to over 100,000 annually.


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