Abortion numbers continue to fall in Spain

George Mills
George Mills - [email protected]
Abortion numbers continue to fall in Spain
Demonstrators protests against proposed changes to Spain's abortion law which would have made access to the procedure much more difficult. Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

The number of abortions carried out in Spain fell to its lowest level in seven years in 2013 despite the introduction of more liberal laws in 2010, new figures reveal.


A total of 108,690 abortions were carried out in 2013 according to figures published in Tuesday by Spain's health ministry.

That is down 3.2 percent from the 112.390 abortions seen in 2012, and the lowest number since the 101,592 such procedures carried out in 2006.

A total of 11.74 abortions were carried out for every 1,000 woman aged from 15 to 44 in Spain, the 2013 figures reveal. 

The new statistics come three months after Spain shelved draft legislation which would have allowed abortions only in cases of rape which had been reported to the police or when there was a medically-certified threat to the mother's physical or psychological health. 

Under current Spanish legislation brought in by the previous Socialist government in 2010, women in Spain have the right to abortion on demand up to 14 weeks into their pregnancy.

The number of abortions in Spain climbed rapidly from just under 80,000 in 2003 to 101,592 in 2006 but actually fell by nearly 10,000 from 2011, or the year after this more liberal legislation was introduced, to 2013.

The drop in numbers was a reflection of the socioeconomic situation of the country with the departure of many woman of child bearing age bringing those numbers down, experts quoted by Spain's El País newspaper said,

Spain's introduction of the morning-after pill in 2009 had also played a roll, the daily reported.   

Women in Spain also have the legal right to abort up to the 22nd week of pregnancy in cases where the mother's health is at risk or the foetus shows serious deformities.

Under the previous 1985 law, abortion was a crime in Spain except in cases of rape, risk to the mother's health or deformation of the foetus.


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