Spain Parliament Votes to Approve Abortions Up to 14 Weeks, 22 in Some Cases

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Spain Parliament Votes to Approve Abortions Up to 14 Weeks, 22 in Some Cases

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 17
, 2009

Madrid, Spain ( — The Spanish Parliament today approved legislation to legalize abortions through 14 weeks for any reason and 22 weeks in some additional cases. Abortions are allowed in Spain already and the measure makes legal abortions official and will likely expand their already-growing numbers.

More than 100,000 abortions are already done in Spain every year as abortion centers use the mental health aspect of the current law to authorize the abortions, even though research shows abortions present women with a plethora of mental health problems.

The cabinet of the Spain government, headed by President Rodriguez Zapatero, has proposed a bill that would expand abortions and legalize them up to the fourteenth week of pregnancy.

In November, the proposal was approved in its first stage as ruling party Socialist Party was joined by five smaller parties to back the abortion expansion on a narrow majority of 180 to 163.

Today, the vote in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies was 184-158 with one abstention, according to an AP report.

The measure now goes to the Senate, which is expected to approve the pro-abortion bill early next year.

Carmen Monton, the Socialists’ spokeswoman, told AP that women wanted the abortion bill but Conservative Popular Party spokesman Santiago Cervera said there is no clamor in Spain society for more abortions.

The new bill has also come under fire for allowing abortions on 16 and 17-year-old girls without parental involvement.

That drew opposition from MPs and the ruling party eventually changed the measure to allow notification, but not consent, for parents of minors considering an abortion.

The Spanish Bishops’ Conference has led the effort against the bill and said Catholics who vote for it would be sinning, but, AP indicates parliamentary speaker Jose Bono, a Socialist and Catholic, said his "conscience is clear."

Under the bill, abortions are allowed for any reason to 14 weeks, they are allowed up to 22 weeks if an abortion practitioner certifies a serious threat to the health of the mother, or says the unborn child is disabled.

Beyond 22 weeks, abortions are only allowed in serious cases of fetal disability and in cases where the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life.

As many as two million people participated in a massive march in Madrid in October to oppose the legislation.

Former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar participated in the march. Actor Eduardo Verástegui, who starred in the movie “Bella” joined in the march as well.

Legal abortions in Spain have increased over the years, doubling from nearly 54,000 in 1998 to 112,000 in 2007.

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