End of impunity for anti-abortion. In Spain, the Senate just passed an amendment to the Criminal Code to punish people who prevent a woman from having an abortion. The sentences imposed are up to 12 months in prison. An important and necessary text to strengthen the protection of the sexual and reproductive rights of Spanish women, who remain under threat in the country.
Supported by the socialist party of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the text was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday 6 April. It plans to punish with a prison sentence of three to twelve months or a sentence for work in the public interest, the “embarrassing, abusive, intimidating or compulsive acts” with the aim of “impeding the exercise of the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy”, reports The HuffPost† The same penalties are imposed for the “harassment” of nursing staff.
89% of Hispanic women who wanted an abortion felt harassed
Meetings of anti-abortion groups for medical centers could thus be directly affected by this new measure, as well as harassment against women who come for abortion. as remembered The HuffPostanti-abortion activists often protest outside clinics “showing women plastic fetuses or driving them in vehicles with ultrasonic scanners†
According to figures presented in 2018 by the Association of Clinics Authorized to Perform Abortion (ACAI), 89% of women seeking an abortion in Spain felt harassed and 66% threatened. Alarming figures show that abortion remains a barrier for Spanish women, especially as some sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles to exercise this right. According to the government, eight of the country’s 50 provinces have not had abortions since it was decriminalized in 1985. The HuffPost†
Anti-abortion protests remain strong in the country
In reality, this decriminalization allowed abortion for only three reasons: rape, a “serious risk” to the pregnant woman, and malformation of the fetus. It was not until 2010 that abortion was legalized “without medical justification” and until the 14th week of pregnancy. Since then, the challenge of the Spanish anti-abortion movements has continued to rumble in the land of Catholic tradition.
In late March 2022, the streets of Madrid, in particular, saw anti-abortion activists march past, protesting another government bill. This aims to ensure better access to abortion in public hospitals, especially for underage women.