by Steven Ertelt
January 8, 2008
Madrid, Spain (LifeNews.com) — Abortion centers across Spain launched a five-day strike on Tuesday to protest the raids at a handful of centers that apparently were doing illegal late-term abortions. More than 50 abortion centers indicated they will not do abortions during the strike, in a protest that likely won’t draw objections from pro-life advocates.
The abortion businesses are responsible for about 90 percent of the abortions done in the western European nation.
The Association of Clinics Accredited for the Interruption of Pregnancies, a trade group for abortion businesses, is leading the strike in reaction to raids on abortion centers in Barcelona and Madrid late last year.
"It’s incomprehensible that while the option of abortion is provided for and recognized by the national health system and facilitated by accredited clinics, authorities allow the persecution of women and professionals involved," the group said.
The raids netted about a dozen suspects who were accused of doing illegal abortions or falsifying medical records making them appear to fall under Spanish law.
Most abortions are legal in Spain, but they are only allowed in the latter stages of pregnancy for supposedly legitimate medical or mental health reasons. As LifeNews.com reported, some of the centers filled out papers in advance before consulting with women about their pregnancies.
According to an AP report, women who had abortions scheduled for the five days would have their appointments pushed back until the middle of next week.
Spain’s parliament has been considering a reform of its abortion laws in response to the raids, but the group wants lawmakers to allows abortions up to 16 weeks for any reason.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has said he would look into updating the 22-year-old abortion law but said that any such reforms would not be a part of the Socialist Party’s platform for the elections this March.
The scientific policy group Hay Alternativas told the newspaper it was delighted that officials closed down the abortion business but said authorities waited too long to do so.
“Both in Madrid and in the rest of Spain, a fraud of the law is being carried out in practically all of the abortion clinics, and government officials have always looked the other way," the group said.
"Fortunately, the events that have taken place recently in Barcelona seem to have somewhat awakened those politically responsible from their lethargy, and we hope that this is only the beginning," it added.
Spanish authorities started the raids in Barcelona after a pro-life group called E-Cristians filed a complaint following a television report by a Denmark station featuring an undercover investigation showing Carlos Morin, who runs the four abortion businesses, offering an abortion to a reporter who was seven-months pregnant at the time.
Morin gave the journalist a form she could use to falsely claim she had a mental disorder that allowed her to have the late-term abortion. He also said he would inject a poison that would kill the baby and the woman would give birth to a stillborn child.
He was among those arrested.
LifeNews.com reported on more arrests on Monday that included staff psychologists who also falsified medical reports on the mental health status of the women getting the abortions.
According to Spanish media, three of the original six arrested are still in prison on remand, including Morin and his wife Maria Luisa. Three abortion practitioners have been granted bail at a rate of 2,000 to 4,000 Euros (about $2900-$5800 US).
The facilities drew women from across Europe and came under fire in Malta for offering free abortions there even though the nation prohibits abortion. They also received referrals from British and Dutch doctors who wouldn’t do such late-term abortions in their nations.
Approximately eighty percent of the abortions done at the Spanish abortion business are performed on British women, the British press reported. Other women come from France and Portugal.
Local authorities also found that the abortion centers in question were flushing the bodies of the dead babies down the drain.