Spanish government seeks to add parental consent to abortion law

.- Spain’s Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, announced on Jan. 25 that the government will work to change the country’s abortion law to require parental consent for minors who wish to undergo the procedure.

Gallardon, a member of the People’s Party, said the reform would “change the model of current abortion regulations to reinforce protection of the right to life and of minors.”

In 2010 the People’s Party filed a petition before the Constitutional Court questioning eight articles of Spain’s abortion law, arguing that it should be reformed in accord with the court’s 1985 ruling that established that the state has the duty to protect developing human life. 

Gallardon criticized the law, which went into effect July 2010, for allowing abortion on demand up until the 14th week of pregnancy. He said the provision violates article 15 of the Spanish Constitution, which recognizes that “everyone has the right to life.”

He also questioned why the limit was set at 14 weeks and not 12 or 16. He said there was no explanation as why the unborn should be protected after the limit but not before.

In cases of abortion up until the 22nd week that are allowed for the health of the mother, the People’s Party noted that this exception is broad enough to justify almost any reason for an abortion.

The party said the justification for abortion in cases of “risk of grave fetal anomalies, which would appear to include blindness or deafness, missing arms or limbs, or Down syndrome,” bring to mind the “eugenic theories” of the 20th century that deemed some people “unworthy of living” or “burdensome.”

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