Children's protector denied girls' right to abort

22nd February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Up to a dozen teenage girls in the care of Madrid social services have been denied an abortion since a conservative politician took over as director of the regional Children and Family Institute in August.

22 February 2008

MADRID - Up to a dozen teenage girls in the care of Madrid social services have been denied an abortion since a conservative politician took over as director of the regional Children and Family Institute in August, leaving many of them at risk from developing psychological problems, according to legal filings made public Thursday.

The refusal of Paloma Martín, the director of the institute and a Popular Party representative in the regional assembly, to authorise abortions led at least one girl to seek the help of the courts. The teenager, now 16 weeks pregnant, was told yesterday by a judge that she can undergo an abortion in a ruling that casts doubt on Martín's reasons for refusing the girl's request.

According to the judge, the teenager, who is in the care of the institute at a shelter, had fulfilled all the necessary requirements to have an abortion, including a psychological examination that showed her to be at risk if she continued with the pregnancy.

"As mother and father to these girls [the institute] should be acting with their interests in mind not because of an ideology," Altamira González, the head of the women attorneys association Juristas Themis, said.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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