March 4. 2024. 5:54

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Spain’s Constitutional Court upholds abortion law


Spain’s abortion law, in force since 2010, was deemed constitutional by the Constitutional Law Thursday, rejecting an appeal filed by the centre-right Popular Party twelve years ago.

The appeal by the Partido Popular (PP), Spain’s main opposition party, was rejected Thursday by seven votes from progressive justices and four from the conservative camp. A new text will now be drafted ratifying the “constitutionality” of the law.

The Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy – approved during the government of former socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – established legal and free abortion in Spain as a woman’s right up to 14 weeks and up to 22 weeks in the case of serious risk to the life or health of the woman or serious anomalies in the foetus.

The PP backed the 2010 law, also known as the “time limits law, which establishes that abortion in Spain is free within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, informing the woman in advance about rights, benefits and public aid available should she decide to continue with the pregnancy.

On Thursday, Constitutional Court magistrates considered that there is no unconstitutionality in the current law, so its text will be endorsed in its entirety in the coming weeks.

The appeal against abortion had been stuck in the Spanish Court of Guarantees for twelve years and had never been debated by its members.

The law regulated for the first time the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy, given that the previous law, that of 1985, only decriminalised it in three cases: serious risk to the woman’s health, rape and malformations or defects in the foetus.

The 2010 law, partially reformed in 2015 by the Popular Party, recognised the right for women over 16 to have an abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)