Target: President Mariano Rajoy of Spain
Goal: Prevent passage of anti-abortion bill that violates women’s rights
The Spanish government is about to introduce a bill that would ban abortions with only severely limited exceptions. Current Spanish legislation allows women to terminate a pregnancy up to 14 weeks. The suggested changes would allow abortions only when the woman’s physical or mental health is in danger, and even in these dire circumstances the changes would allow an abortion to be performed only up to 22 weeks. If a woman becomes pregnant as a result of sexual violence, she could only get an abortion up to 12 weeks. These restrictions could lead women and girls to perform illegal and dangerous abortions at home, without medical care professionals present.
According to a press release from Human Rights Watch, under the changes two specialist doctors would be required to testify as to the threat of physical and mental health, and if a women becomes pregnant through sexual violence she would have to make a police report. Those who are seeking an abortion for any other reason would have to go through mandatory waiting periods and counseling. Changes to current laws would also allow medical care providers to refuse to perform abortions “as a matter of conscience” without ensuring adequate regulation and monitoring.
International groups including Human Rights Watch, Alianza por la Solidaridad, Center for Reproductive Rights, European NGOs for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Population and Development and many others have come forth to express their contempt for the bill. They call Spain’s draft legislation, “a serious threat to women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
Access to safe and legal abortions is important for girls and women as a part of their right to life, nondiscrimination, equality, health and privacy. This bill violates many rights and adds unnecessary obstacles that put women at risk. Demand that the Spanish government keep current abortion laws and end attempts to implement this bill.
Dear President Rajoy,
Recent anti-abortion legislation in Spain has many human rights organization up in arms. These changes to current abortion laws are under fire because they violate women’s rights and make it challenging for women to seek the procedure legally and safely. Other European countries are also pressuring your country to reconsider, as their laws align more closely with international human rights standards.
I am writing to demand that your government end attempts to make this bill into law. Women have the right to life, privacy and health which this legislation violates. Your country already has safe and legal restrictions in place; why force women to seek abortions illegally and without medical staff present?
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Inferis via Wikimedia Commons