Carolina Rivas


  • close


    The situation of minors under the new abortion law in Spain

    Carolina Rivas
    ACAI, Sevilla, Spain

    In 2010 the socialist Government passed a new law, which allows abortion on request up to 14 weeks and by maternal or foetal causes up to 22 weeks. In very special situations, the minors between 16 and 18 years could decide without the consent of the legal representatives.
    Sociological data (which were not included in the mandatory notification form) of 36718 women were collected from July 2010 to October 2011 to analyse the situation of the minors.
    In 2015 the conservative Government partially amended the Abortion Act, requiring in all cases the consent of the legal representatives of the young women of age 16 and 17.
    From May to August 2016 data of women who had a TOP have been collected to determine the changes in the situation of the minors following the reform of 2015.
    In the first study it was found that:

    • Out of 36718 women (100%), 1186 were age 16 and 17 (3.23%).
    • Out of 1186 minors (100%) only 151 (13%) failed to inform their parents.
    • These 151 minors represent 0.41% of all women (36718).
    • 87% of the minors age 16 and 17 reported their representatives and were mostly accompanied by them.

    The reasons given by the 151 minors for failing to inform their parents correspond to those cited in the law itself: serious family conflicts, domestic violence, ill-treatment, anti-abortion attitudes in the family, disabling or psychiatric diseases etc.
    Although details of the second phase are still picking up, the experience accumulated since September 2015 allows us to verify that the minors without the consent of their parents face restrictive interpretations of the law (e.g. in the Madrid Region, where the presence of both is required) or delays in the processing of the necessary judicial authorisation, potentially exposing them to unsafe abortion.