Girls' Rights Under Threat in Spain
When you were a child what plans did you make for the rest of your life? To go to university, travel the world, become the prime minister? The world can be an exciting place when you are 16 or 17 with the rest of your life ahead of you.
But what if at this critical age you were not given full control over your own body and future? Proposed legislation by the Spanish government threatens to do just this to thousands of Spanish women and girls.
Access to Abortion Restricted
The bill, which was put forward by the Popular Party Parliamentary Group, would severely restrict Spain's abortion laws. Amongst other things it would require that 16 and 17 year old girls and some women with mental health disabilities would have to obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to access legal abortion services.
The bill poses a serious threat to girls' health and human rights in the country. Without access to safe and legal abortion many girls may resort to dangerous 'backstreet' abortions. The World Health Organisation has recognised that restrictive laws governing abortions do not reduce the number of abortions, and so only increase the number of unsafe and clandestine procedures, with serious risks to girls’ health.
A Step Backwards
The proposals go against recommendations by international bodies including the World Health Organisation and the monitoring committee of the Convention on the Rights of Child, which Spain is a party to.
Jezerca Tigani, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International, has said “if passed, this bill would send the country back several decades to a precarious time for women and girls’ human rights”.
There is still time to present this bill from becoming law. Please right to the Spanish Minister of Health urging him to oppose these amendments and the Popular Party Parliamentary Group, urging them to withdraw the proposed amendments, because they would violate the rights of women and girls and put their health and lives at risk..
For more information and further guidance on what to put in your letters, have a look at the attached case file, below.
Please write before 9th April 2015 to:
Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Equality
Mr Alfonso Alonso Aranegui
Ministerio de Sanidad, Asuntos Sociales e Igualdad
Paseo del Prado, 18 28071 Madrid
Fax: +0034 914 293 535
Salutation: Dear Minister
Popular Party Parliamentary Group Spokesperson
Mr Rafael Antonio Hermando Fraile
Portavoz del Grupo Parlamentario Popular en el Congreso de los Diputados
Salutation: Dear Mr Hermando Fraile
Please send copies of your letters to:
Mr. Don Frederico Trillo-Figueroa
Spanish Ambassador in the UK
39 Chesham Place, SW1Z 8SB
Consulate: 20 Draycott Place
London SW3 2RZ
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.