Last year 992 abortions were performed in Spain more than in 2016, according to data from the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare published on Thursday. The figure supposes a small rebound, of hardly the 1%. The data show the consolidation of the downward trend that began in 2011, the year following the entry into force of the law on terms. That year saw an increase, from about 113,000 voluntary interruptions of pregnancy in 2010 to about 118,000 in 2011. From there, there were annual falls to reach 93,131 abortions in 2016. In 2017 were 94,123.
As of July 2010, when the law on time limits came into force, women were able to interrupt their pregnancy without giving justifications in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. A timeframe model that already worked in virtually all of Europe was introduced. The previous norm, of 1985, allowed only in three cases -violation, fetal malformation and serious risk to life or the physical or mental health of women-, which ended up being interpreted very broadly and with few guarantees for both women as for doctors.
The decrease in the number of abortions in recent years is accentuated. If compared to 2010, the reduction is 16.71%. If compared to 2011, of 20.65%. According to last year's consolidated data, published on the ministry website, The rate of voluntary interruptions of pregnancy per thousand women aged 15 to 44 years also shows this downward trend as of 2011. That year, the figure was 12.47. It went down annually until it reached 10.36 voluntary interruptions of pregnancy for every thousand women in 2016.
Last year, the figure stood at 10.51. The Balearic Islands was the Autonomous Community with the highest rate per thousand inhabitants (13.94), followed by Madrid (13.07), Cataluña (12.89) and Asturias (12.73). Ceuta and Melilla (4.80), Extremadura (6.06) and La Rioja (6.09) are the regions with the lowest proportion of abortions.
The minister, María Luisa Carcedo, has commented on this trend towards stabilization this Thursday, during the meeting she has had with the group of experts that will update and develop, together with the technical and institutional committees, the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. The initiative, which was paralyzed in recent years, is part of the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Law and the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy, according to a note released by the ministry.
The strategy was designed in 2010, but its application "has been virtually nil in sexual health and there are deficiencies in its implementation," said the minister, who has argued that it is "a fundamental tool" to advance sexual and reproductive rights to the citizenship.
Within the framework of this strategy, the Ministry will recover the National Sexual Health Survey, which was last carried out in 2009. Data will be collected from the population aged 16 and above and, as was done in 2009, will raise questions as the type of sexual information that is available, the needs that are had in this respect or how it is accessed. Information will also be obtained on sexual experiences, methods of prevention, or access to resources, among other aspects.
According to the ministry note, special emphasis will be placed on the youngest population to identify and analyze the acceptance of discourses around phenomena such as sexual violence, the consumption of pornography on the Internet and prostitution.