MADRID, October 17, 2001 ( – Despite serious concerns about the declining population level, Spanish legislators are urging greater access to abortion. Several opposition parties in the Spanish Parliament are urging more liberal abortion laws. El Mundo, reported yesterday on the frustration of five pro-abortion opposition parties who want the parliament to consider allowing more abortions. PSOE, the leading opposition party, supports an extension of the law to allow abortions on the grounds of “serious personal, family or social conflict” and no longer make them punishable with a prison sentence.

According to demographer Juan Antonio Fernandez of Spain’s Superior Council for Scientific Research, Spain is in dire circumstances as its birth rate of 1.2 (the world’s lowest) threatens to crash the country’s social-welfare system. Spain will require at least four times its current population by 2050 to support its retirees, says Dr. Fernandez.

At present, women in Spain can have an abortion if pregnancy poses a risk to physical or mental health, if the pregnancy was the result of rape or if there are defects in the foetus. Official data recorded about 54,000 babies were killed by abortion in 1998 in the country and RU-486 went on sale in some hospitals and abortuaries in February 2000. The abortifacient morning-after-pill went on sale in Spain in May 2001.

See the El Mundo coverage from Northern Light at:


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