Abortion clinics on strike over "abusive" checks

8th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Urgent cases will be accepted during week-long shutdown, organisers say.

8 January 2008

BARCELONA - Up to 2,000 women are likely to be affected when abortion clinics across Spain go on strike for a week from today in protest at the "excessive pressure" being exerted on them by public authorities following an investigation last year into illegal practices in Barcelona.

The unprecedented strike could lead to medical and psychological problems for many women, although a representative of the Acai association of clinics said yesterday that urgent procedures will be carried out.

"This is not a strike intended to cause problems for women but to support those clinics that are being harassed by health authorities," said Santiago Barambio, the director of the Tutor Médica clinic in Barcelona, which usually performs 20 terminations per day. "One week won't cause these women not to undergo the procedure, they'll do it a week later - although more urgent cases will be dealt with sooner."

Private clinics, which perform 98 percent of abortions in Spain, claim that they have been subjected to "abusive inspections" by health authorities since clinics operated by Peruvian doctor Carlos Morín were raided as part of an investigation into illegal late-term abortions.

Clinics in Madrid, for example, faced an average of six inspections last year, compared to the two they underwent in 2006.

[Copyright El Pais 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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