Next Monday, Spanish law will be changed regarding abortion. Abortions will be legal and unrestricted until the 14th week of pregnancy and 16 / 17 year old girls will be allow to have an abortion performed upon them without the consent of their parents. Parental notification will be required. This was part of the reigning Socialist Party's agenda since they came to power, putting their law more in line with other parts of Western Europe. The more conservative Popular Party is planning to challenge the recent law in court, citing a 1985 court decision in Spain which stated that "...a woman's rights could not automatically take precedence over those of an unborn child, and could do so only in cases of rape, fetal malformation or when the mother's health is in jeopardy." The Associated Press has more details here. Here's an excerpt from the article -
A new Spanish law allowing abortion without restrictions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy went into effect Monday but the Constitutional Court could yet intervene to suspend or change it.Prior to this change in law, Spanish abortion law was more restrictive than it is here in the United States - abortion was allowed in the case of rape until the 12th week of pregnancy and for fetal malform up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. The woman who receives the abortion was able to get jailtime under the previous law, but rarely did. According to the AP, women claimed "...mental distress as sole grounds for having an abortion..." and did not receive jailtime. According to the article, approximately 100,000 abortions are performed in Spain annually. Compare that to the United States where 1.37 Million are performed annually.
The law, approved by Parliament in February, was the latest item on a liberal agenda undertaken by the Socialist government, which took power in 2004. The measure is seen as bringing this traditionally Roman Catholic country more in line with its secular neighbors in northern Europe.
Equality Minister Bibiana Aido told Cadena SER radio the government was unworried by an appeal by the conservative Popular Party to the Constitutional Court challenging the 14-week clause as unconstitutional.
"The government is fully convinced of the constitutionality of the law," she said.
The Popular Party cited a 1985 ruling from the court that said a woman's rights could not automatically take precedence over those of an unborn child, and could do so only in cases of rape, fetal malformation or when the mother's health is in jeopardy.
The Constitutional Court must also decide whether to suspend the law while it studies the appeal. The court said there was no timetable for either decision.
The law allows 16- and 17-year-olds to have abortions without their parents' permission, although the parents have to be informed. It also wipes away the threat of imprisonment for having an abortion and declares it a woman's right.