Spain's government wants to repeal need for parental consent for abortion

Spanish Equality Minister Irene Montero speaks after the Council of Ministers March 3 2020 Credit La Moncloa   Gobierno de Espaa via Flickr CC BY NC ND 20 Spanish Equality Minister Irene Montero speaks after the Council of Ministers, March 3, 2020. | La Moncloa - Gobierno de España via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Spanish Equality Minister said Wednesday it is "more than necessary" to repeal a law that requires parental consent for children aged 16 and 17 who want to procure an abortion.

Irene Montero said Oct. 7 in the Council of Ministers that "we demand, like so many [abortion advocates] from all corners of the world, the right of all women to decide about their bodies and we demand a freely decided motherhood and above all a full and free sexual life."

The minority coalition government, formed by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and Unidas Podemos, also intends to promote sexual education and a right to the "newest forms" of contraception.

Abortion has been legal in Spain since 1985. The current abortion law, mandating parental consent for girls aged 16 and 17 to procure an abortion, was was adopted in 2015 when the People's Party was in power. The People's Party is now the largest group in the opposition.

Women in Spain can get state-paid abortion on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, up to 22 weeks in cases of serious health risks to the mother or baby, and for all nine months if the fetus has anomalies incompatible with life, or an extremely serious and incurable disease.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, during 2018 there were 95,917 abortions performed in Spain; 310 on girls under 15 years of age, and 9,518 on girls 15 to 19.

In the US, most states require minors to obtain parental consent before procuring an abortion.

Such a law was adopted in Florida in June. The state's bishops commented that "this common-sense measure simply holds abortion to the same consent requirements as most every other medical decision involving a child, including simple interventions such as taking an aspirin or getting ears pierced."

"As Catholics, we condemn abortion as a grave injustice that denies the fundamental human right to life. However, as long as abortion is legal, we support measures such as parental consent that will reduce the grave harm it inflicts," they added.

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