Madrid: Spain's controversial abortion law, which allows girls at 16 and above to terminate a pregnancy in the first 14 weeks without informing their parents, has come into force.
Its enactment Monday comes 25 years after the approval of the regulation that has allowed 1.3 million women to have abortions in the country.
The new law, which has sparked the strong opposition of conservative sectors and the Catholic Church, permits abortion on demand up until the 14th week of pregnancy, and up to the 22nd week in the case of potential risk to the life or health of the woman or serious birth defects or problems with the foetus, as certified by physicians.
The conservative main opposition Popular Party and the government of the northern region of Navarre have asked the Constitutional Court to issue an injunction against the new law due to their view that abortion on demand is contrary to the right to life, guaranteed by Article 15 of Spain's post-Franco constitution.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday he was confident the law would be upheld as constitutional.
Zapatero emphasised that this is both a "preventive" law, because it will avoid unwanted pregnancies, and one involving "safety" because it provides more guarantees to women and to health care personnel in the face of voluntary interruptions of pregnancy.
The Popular Party spokesman on social policy, Sandra Moneo, said that halting the implementation of the law was "very urgent", given that the consequences of its entry into force will be "irreversible".
First Published: Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 18:51