18 Jun, 2024 @ 16:00
1 min read

Spain’s top court backs change to abortion law that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to terminate pregnancies without parental permission, rejecting appeal filed by far-right party Vox


SPAIN’S Constitutional Court has backed a reform to the country’s abortion laws that was passed last year by the leftist government, and that allows for 16- and 17-year-olds to terminate their pregnancies without parental permission. 

Sources from the top court have told Spanish reporters that a majority of judges have rejected an appeal against the legislation, which was filed by the far-right Vox party.

There is a majority of progressive judges in the court currently, and their sentence has been drafted by one of these magistrates, Laura Diez, who argues in her text that the law is constitutional. 

Four conservative judges, meanwhile, voted against the decision. 

Read more: Spain’s Congress gives approval to ‘trans law’ and abortion reform

An anti-abortion protest outside a Madrid clinic.

Vox, which is led by politician Santiago Abascal, filed the appeal on the basis that the law violates principles of liberty, plurality and legality, as well as the right to life, equality and ideological freedom. 

The law was definitively approved in February of last year by Congress, and was supported by the governing Socialist Party (PSOE), its junior coalition partner Sumar, and a series of smaller groups in parliament that support the minority administration of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. 

As well as the age change for seeking terminations without parental permission, the reform also forces regional governments to ensure that public healthcare resources are available for abortion procedures. Prior to the passing of the law, more than 80% of terminations were being carried out in private clinics. 

The reform also introduced wider sex education in schools, and paid sick leave for women who are suffering from period pains. 

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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