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Accueil > Espagne > Débats actuels > Archives des débats > 2008

2008

  • September 2008 : Draft Law on Abortion

The Spanish government announced early in September 2008 its intention to proceed within one year with the implementation of a new abortion law. Replacing the law in force since 1985, it should be possible, in the words of the Minister for Equality, Bibiana Aido, "to incorporate the best of international legislation" on abortion and ensure "the fundamental rights of women (...) and health professionals". This new law will also aim to ensure equal access and treatment across the various Autonomous Communities.
A committee of experts comprising doctors, lawyers, family planning providers and representatives of the Ministries of the Presidency, Justice and Health was established to advise the government. Their work will be added to that of the sub-committee to be created in the Lower House, in order to obtain, in line with government wishes, the largest consensus possible.
The current law allows abortion only in three cases : rape (within 12 weeks), foetal malformation (within 22 weeks) and serious risk to the physical or mental health of the mother (no limit).
The Spanish Episcopal Conference is said to have been saddened by this announcement, but wishes to remain silent until it knows the details of the reform.
The Cardinal of the Curia, for his part, spoke in favour of a dialogue with the government about the new law, while Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, responded more explicitly, considering that the plan is not based on "the vision of life it creates and on the importance of the dignity of each person that begins with the conception."
The last document on abortion by bishops, dated 25th March 2007, had stated that Spain’s "law-making body is among those in the world that least protect human life".

  • September 2008 : Draft law on assisted suicide

Spain’s Socialist government has announced its desire to implement a better regulation in law of assisted suicide, that is, the possibility for a patient to receive the help necessary to end his/her own life, including when the illness is not terminal. This law is to be drawn up during this parliamentary term and requires an amendment of the Penal Code. A working committee will be created, bringing together experts and representatives of the Ministries of Justice and Health in order to conduct a preliminary study to enable the Government to take a decision.

Please refer to the interview granted by Health Minister, Bernat Soria, in the daily newspaper El Pais of 7th September 2008.

22 octobre 2008