Spain's Abortion Providers on Strike

By Rachel Walden — January 10, 2008

Spain’s private abortion clinics are in the middle of a 5-day strike begun on Tuesday. The action is in response to raids on some clinics, arrests for alleged illegal late-term abortions, and clinic closures late last year, and following protests against the clinics. Providers also want changes to Spanish abortion law, which allows the procedure up to 22 weeks for fetal malformation and up to 12 weeks for rape – in other cases, it must be determined that the woman’s physical or mental health is in jeopardy. They suggest that the law to allow the procedure up to 12 weeks for any woman who cites social or economic pressures as well.

Although providers are striking in part for increased access to abortion, the immediate effect is that services will not be available this week for the up to 2,000 women who planned to use the clinics. It’s also not clear what kind of response a provider-led strike will generate – will they be accused of simply trying to drum up more business, or will women join them in calling for a change in abortion laws?

The BBC provides a map describing Europe’s policies. Our Bodies Ourselves also provides information on abortion worldwide.

2 responses to “Spain’s Abortion Providers on Strike”

  1. I was surprised to learn that a lot of the European abortion laws are as restrictive as they are.

  2. Not really surprising at all, considering Spain’s history of women’s rights. Up until 1975 employers could still require a woman to provide them with written from consent from a husband or father that they were permitted to work outside the home.

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