Spanish politicians applaud
Spanish Minister of Labor and Social Economy Yolanda Diaz (second from left), and Sumar's candidate for president of the Basque government Alba Garcia (second from right) applaud during an event on feminist policies at the Euskalduna Palace on March 6, 2024, in Bilbao, Spain.
(Photo: H.Bilbao/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Following French Victory, Spain's Left Wants to Enshrine Abortion Rights in Constitution

"The French feminists did it. The Spanish feminists can do it."

Days after French lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to enshrine the right to abortion care in their country's constitution, Spain's far-left Sumar Party on Wednesday announced its intention to do the same, ensuring people can terminate pregnancies in a country where abortion is technically legal—but where doctors frequently refuse to provide care.

"Deciding about our bodies is a right that must be included in the constitution. French women have shown us the way: We have to protect the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy," said Yolanda Díaz, leader of the Sumar Party and the country's minister of labor and social economy.

Since 2010, abortion has been legal in Spain up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, and in 2022 the government passed a law criminalizing the harassment or intimidation of a pregnant person seeking an abortion. The country also recently began to allow minors aged 16 and 17 to get abortion care without parental consent and abolished a mandatory waiting period.

But government statistics show that in at least five of Spain's 17 autonomous regions, no public hospital offers abortion care. Doctors calling themselves "conscientious objectors" can refuse to provide care, forcing many patients to travel long distances to get an abortion or to go to a private clinic.

"Freedom is being able to decide whether or not you want to be a mother," said Díaz on Wednesday. "Freedom is being able to decide about your daily life."

The proposed amendment was announced as Sumar leaders spoke at an event promoting feminist policies.

French Senate member Mélanie Vogel called the proposal "wonderful news" out of the neighboring country.

"Forward," she wrote in Spanish.

France's amendment made it the first country in 50 years to enshrine the right to an abortion in its constitution.

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