A year after Spain brought in a controversial reform of its abortion laws, statistics show a decline in the number of terminations, putting paid to fears from opponents that rates would rocket. Women are terminating their pregnancies earlier than under the previous legislation, an association for licensed abortion clinics also reported.
Spain brought its abortion laws in line with most other European countries last July allowing abortion on demand up to 14 weeks of pregnancy and up to 22 weeks if there is fetal malformation or threat to the health of the mother.
Before its introduction abortions were offered under restricted circumstances and rarely in a public hospital…The vast majority of the 115,000 abortions carried out in 2009 took place at private clinics, many at a late stage of gestation, and were justified on the grounds that the pregnancy posed a “psychological risk” for the health of the woman.
The legislation saw a series of huge demonstrations by pro-lifers on the streets across Spain supported by the Catholic Church and the conservative opposition Popular Party (PP) who said it would cause a leap in the number of terminations.
But associations for abortion clinics across Spain said the number of terminations had in fact declined to various degrees depending on the region over the year…
Spain’s Health Ministry has yet to publish official figures but confirmed a pattern of decline which it attributed to a number of measures.
“The sale of the ‘morning-after pill’ over the counter, pregnancy prevention programs and the advent of new subsidised contraceptives are all helping reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies,” said Jose Martinez Olmos, Secretary General for Health.
Health workers reported that abortions were being carried out in the earlier stages of pregnancy than before.
The abortion reform was part of an ambitious programme of social change under José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the socialist prime minister, which led to repeated clashes with the Church.
Since winning power in 2004 his government has legalised homosexual marriage, eased divorce laws and dropped religious education from the curriculum in public schools.
Needless to say the Pope and his political pimps in Spain are pissed that all the holy disasters they guaranteed have not come to pass. Perish the thought that ordinary human beings learn they can run their lives pretty darn well without supervision from ancient invisible critters in the sky.