Spain takes first step towards abortion reform
A parliamentary report on reforming the current strict abortion law was approved Wednesday.MADRID – Spanish deputies took a first step towards liberalising the abortion law on Wednesday when a committee approved a parliamentary report on reform of the current strict law.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero must now spell out the details of a new law legalising abortion.
The reform would do away with the legal insecurity for women seeking an abortion, said Carmen Monton, a socialist deputy on the parliamentary committee.
The government has promised changes in 2009 despite fierce opposition from the country's Catholic hierarchy and the Vatican.
The current law in Spain, which was passed in 1985, only permits abortion for rape victims in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; for women carrying deformed foetuses (22 weeks); and in cases where the mother is in physical or psychological danger.
There is no time limit for this last category, which can sometimes lead to abortions being performed more than six months into a pregnancy.
The government proposes to change the law to make abortion unconditionally available, but only up to a fixed stage of the pregnancy, as is the case in most European countries, which generally settle on a 12-week limit.
[AFP / Expatica]