Annual abortions double in 10 years

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Annual abortions double in 10 years, topping 100,000 in 2006.

4 January 2008

MADRID - The equivalent of one out of every 100 Spanish women of reproductive age underwent an abortion in 2006, according to figures published Thursday by the Health Ministry that show a sharp increase in the number of women terminating their pregnancies prematurely.

In total, 101,592 abortions were performed in Spain in 2006, the first time ever that the number has surpassed 100,000, following a 10.83-percent increase in the number of procedures carried out compared to 2005. In 10 years the number of abortions being performed annually has doubled. Almost nine out of 10 abortions in 2006 were carried out prior to 12 weeks of gestation and 97.5 percent of the procedures were performed at private clinics.

Under Spain's 1985 abortion law, pregnancies can be terminated only in certain circumstances, including cases of rape, malformation of the foetus and if proceeding with the pregnancy would cause physical or psychological harm to the mother. In practice, abortion critics claim that the right to have an abortion for psychological health reasons has been widely abused.

Physical or mental health risks were the reason cited for 98,523 of the abortions carried out in 2006, compared to the 2,875 performed because of malformations, and 13 following incidents of rape.

[Copyright El Pais / EMILIO DE BENITO 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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