Jude clears 21 women of late-abortion charges
A judge in Barcelona on Tuesday cleared 21 women accused of illegally aborting their pregnancies on grounds that they did not know that they may have been breaking the law.Barcelona - A judge in Barcelona on Tuesday cleared 21 women accused of illegally aborting their pregnancies on grounds that they did not know that they may have been breaking the law.
The women underwent abortions at Ginemedex-TCB clinics run by Carlos Morín, a Peruvian doctor who was arrested in January after a television documentary revealed that he had been illegally offering to perform abortions on women in the late stages of pregnancy.
Morín and two employees remain in jail awaiting trial in a separate case.
Though they will be made to appear as witnesses in that case, Judge Elisabeth Castelló ruled yesterday that they should no longer be considered suspects.
The women had aborted on the grounds that continuing with their pregnancies would harm their psychological health, the only reason for which abortions are permitted in Spain after 22 weeks of gestation. However, none were evaluated by a psychiatrist as required by law.
Castelló indicated that the irregularities surrounding the women's abortions are the fault of the clinic, not their own. She noted that the women did not know they may have been breaking the law.
Public prosecutors said they are not planning to appeal against the ruling.