13-10-2008

Free abortions for Spanish women on board Women on Waves ship.

 

At the invitation of more than 30 Spanish organizations, the Women on Waves ship will arrive in the harbor of Valencia on October 16 at 17.00 o?clock. The ship will stay still October 21. Catholic groups are already trying to stop the ship from entering.

Press Information

From October 15-22: +34 610065157
Before and after October 15-22: +31652052561 or +31204650004
Or send an email to press@womenonwaves.org

Help

Spanish women in need of help can call (+34) 600050553

Program

For the program during the ship?s visit please click here

Women on Waves

Women on Waves works to guarantee the right to objective sexual education, availability of contraceptives and legal and safe abortion services. In countries where abortion is illegal, we call attention to the dire situation of women due to illegal and unsafe abortions. Every year 20 million women have to resort to invasive illegal and unsafe abortions as a result of which 68.000 women die unnecessary.
Women with early unwanted pregnancies will be able to receive the abortion pill legally and safely on board the Women on Waves ship outside the territorial waters of countries where abortion is illegal. Medical abortion is very safe and effective. Counseling, treatment and aftercare will be done according to High Dutch standards.

At the invitation of local women?s organizations, Women on Waves sailed before to Ireland in 2001, Poland in 2003 and Portugal in 2004, where abortion was legalized in 2007.

Abortion in Spain

In Spain, abortion is only legal in case the pregnancy poses a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman, or in case of rape or fetal malformations. Every year approximately 100.000 abortions take place in Spain, once a psychiatrist has determined that the woman's mental health is endangered.

There is a great lack of clarity about the Spanish abortion law. This recently led to the prosecutions of Spanish abortion doctors, the closure of abortion clinics and the investigation of Spanish women who had an abortions. Also, a Dutch woman from Boxtel, who had a late abortion in Spain in 2007, is still under investigation in the Netherlands.

The Spanish government has now appointed a committee to recommend changes to the abortion law.

By inviting of the Women on Waves ship, the Spanish organizations want to urge the Spanish government to:

- Remove abortion from the penal code. Abortion is a regular medical procedure.

- Stop the criminalization of women and doctors.

- Full financial reimbursement for abortion care as is also normal for other medical procedures.

Abortion in Europe

The illegality of abortion in countries like Ireland, Malta and Poland, and the differences in gestational limits in which an abortion is legally allowed in the different countries, lead to abortion tourism within Europe and inequality in access to this much needed health care service.

Several European agencies have recommended the legalization of abortion in all of Europe. In April 2008, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on the organization's member states to guarantee women's right to access to a safe and legal abortion and to lift conditions which restricted access to safe abortion.
In June 2002 the European Parliament adapted the "Lancker report" which advised to make abortion legal safe and accessible en countries were called upon not to prosecute women who had illegal abortions.

Women on Waves thus acts within the international consensus concerning good sexual education, accessibility of contraceptives and safe legal abortion services