Health & Family Planning Ministry

Suppressing free abortion within the first 14 weeks of gestation or remove the indication for fetal malformation are some of the changes that has been advancing the Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, and most likely will address the reform of the abortion law prepared by the Government. Finally approved legislation in these conditions, Spain would be at the bottom of Europe in the field of sexual and reproductive rights and access to abortion, just ahead of Poland, Ireland, or Malta, only European country in which the abortion is prohibited in any course.

The vast majority of European countries have laws that combine indications deadlines. The widest is the Netherlands, which guarantees the free abortion within the first 24 weeks of gestation, and then the times vary between 10 weeks of Portugal, Italy 90 days, 12 weeks in Germany, France, Greece, Belgium and Bulgaria, Romania 14, or 18 in Sweden, which decriminalized abortion in 1938 on certain assumptions and limits law passed in 1975.


In Finland indications legislation allowing abortion up to 12 weeks to save the lives of women, preserve their mental health or economic or social reasons or in case of rape or incest. In practice, it amounts to an act of deadlines, negative in the absence of women requesting termination within this period, as indicated from the International Planned Parenthood Federation. In the UK, less in Northern Ireland, allowed only when there is serious risk to the woman or fetal malformations, the law permits abortion within the first 24 weeks for reasons of health, social and economic.

All these countries provide a number of indications beyond the limits specified either by fetal malformations, particularly severe disease diagnosis, or serious risk to the physical or mental health of women. Many of these assumptions are that the current law provides for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy, which came into force in 2010.

European states with more restrictive laws are Malta, Ireland and Poland. The first is prohibited under any circumstances. In the second, a 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court allowed abortion when there is a serious risk of suicide in pregnant women, but in practice abortions in Ireland are almost nonexistent, although about 4, 500 Irish aborted in 2010 in the UK, according to data collected by the Ministry of Health of the neighboring country. On Tuesday, the Irish Government approved the draft of a new legislation that would allow abortion if two doctors certify that the only way to save the life of the woman is practicing intervention as a gynecologist or obstetrician and two psychologists certify that there a risk of suicide.

These legislative changes come following a conviction of the European Court of Human Rights for lack of clarity in Irish law and, above all, following the case of Savita Halappanavar a 17 weeks pregnant woman who died last December of septicemia after Give you an abortion he refused. The draft of the new law also includes a reduction of prison sentences for the professional who performs the procedure prohibited by law and for the woman of today life imprisonment sentence was cut to 14 years in prison.


In Poland only is permitted abortion in cases of fetal anomalies, extremely serious risk to the health of the mother and rape. But in practice, according to reports from the Planned Parenthood Federation of Polish women have serious difficulties to abort. In 2009, the government recorded only 538 legal abortions. The organization estimates that there are between 80, 000 and 200, 000 lawless interruptions each year, and that many women travel to Germany and the Czech Republic to abort. Poland also has two convictions of the Strasbourg Court for hindering access to abortion. Two years ago, a citizens' initiative that demanded "the protection of human life from the moment of conception, " and that in practice would ban all abortions, came to Parliament but ultimately became law.

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