The acting Council of the Judiciary launches its report on the new abortion law

The General Council of the Judiciary, with the mandate expired for more than three years, has launched its report on the reform of the Abortion Law promoted by the Ministry of Equality. As has learned, this Wednesday the permanent commission of this body has appointed the members Roser Bach and María Ángeles Carmona as rapporteurs for the report on a rule that regulates conscientious objection and abortions in minors between 16 and 17 years old without parental consent. Both members have already reported on the failed reform that it cost him the position of Minister of Justice to Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón in 2014.

The new reform of the Abortion Law, in force since 2010 and today pending a decision of the Constitutional Court, was announced by Minister Irene Montero last May. A project, Moncloa said, which was based on the regulation in force 12 years ago, which "already built solid pillars for women's sexual and reproductive rights." Its main novelty was to reverse the only reform made by the PP one year later Gallardón's failure: the minors between 16 and 17 years oldas well as women with disabilities, could now abort without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

The norm on which the CGPJ will have to inform also regulates, among other things, the conscientious objection that health professionals can invoke in the event of refusing to participate in the interruption of a pregnancy. The three-day 'reflection' period, the mandatory prior information, and the right to temporary disability during the recovery time after an abortion will also be eliminated.

The combination of the expired mandate of the current Council with the failed attempt by the Popular Party to return to the law of the 1980s means that the two members who are going to prepare this report have already ruled on abortion. It was in 2014 when the governing body of the judges split in half to report on Gallardón's reform, which ultimately did not go ahead and ended with the Minister of Justice out of politics. María Ángeles Carmona was part of the majority bloc that signed a critical report with some defects of the Law, while Roser Bach signed a private vote that he was directly betting on withdrawing that draft with harsh criticism of its content.

María Ángeles Carmona is president of the Observatory against Gender Violence, an internal body of the CGPJ in charge of all the work related to sexist violence in its judicial aspect. From her position, she has not had to pronounce on abortion legislation, but she has, for example, harshly criticized the hoax of false accusations massive acts of sexist violence or rejecting the equating of the violence suffered by women with the concept of domestic violence.

Eight years ago, when the Council had to report on Gallardón's failed norm, Carmona was part of the group of 10 members who carried out the report less critical of the Popular Party project. That report criticized, for example, the "indeterminate and imprecise concepts" that it introduced about the decriminalized assumptions of abortion. Also that the PP linked abortion in case of malformation incompatible with life with the mental health of women.

The legal reform was different from the one that he will now have to study, but it also referred to issues that return to the new norm, such as conscientious objection or the rights of minors between 16 and 18 years of age. Regarding the first aspect, the conscientious objection of health workers, the report signed by Carmona It recommended guaranteeing that public and private centers have "qualified health personnel and doctors who do not exercise that right" to guarantee that a woman does not have to change hospitals because all the doctors refuse to perform an abortion. "It seems logical that if a center has been authorized to carry out interventions for the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, it is required to have personnel trained for this purpose and willing to carry it out," he settled.

That majority report signed by one of the new speakers did not make any major objections to the fact that minors between the ages of 16 and 18 were obliged to have the consent of their legal guardians in order to get pregnant. But it did invite to respect the decision of the minor at all times since, in the event of a difference of opinion with the parents, there would be the figure of a "legal defender" and completely banish the intervention of "other interested parties". "It is not only her will that is at stake, but above all her own life and health, even her survival," said the most benevolent report on Gallardón's failed reform.

Roser Bachmagistrate of Barcelona, ​​was part of the group of seven dissenting members who signed a dissenting opinion that represented an amendment to the entire project with which the Popular Party intended to return to the system of assumptions of 1985, leaving behind the deadlines established in 2010 by the second government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

"It places us in the field of the most restrictive, anachronistic and retrograde regulations on the matter," said that report signed by Bach and six other members. The document pointed to the legal insecurity of the Gallardón rule, understood that the current Law of 2010 placed Spain in the international framework of abortion regulation and accused the authors of the failed reform of "ignoring the evolution of Spanish society ", contributing directly by withdrawing the preliminary draft from circulation in its entirety.

In recent months, these two members have also voted in favor of trans law report that did not object to the substance of the rule but did recommend that only those of legal age could request the rectification of the registration mention related to sex. That report, for which Carmona was a rapporteur and which had the favorable vote of Bach, proposed extending the process of voluntary jurisdiction and judicial approval to the age of 18 so that a minor demonstrates the necessary maturity to face this change.

It will be these two members who jointly prepare a report so that the plenary session of the General Council of the Judiciary pronounces itself in full on the reform of the Abortion Law proposed by the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero. The Organic Law of the Judiciary establishes that, if the urgent procedure is not activated, the report must be ready "within the non-extendable period of thirty days" extendable exceptionally. These are deadlines that, due to the work overload of the technical office and the large number of reports in progress, are rarely met.

The commission to prepare this report comes at a convulsive moment in the relationship between the current executive and the current CGPJ, with the mandate expired three and a half years ago due to the blockade of the Popular Party to negotiate the renewal, perpetuating the conservative majority of the body government of the judges. Convulsed because the recent proposal of the PSOE to reform the Law and facilitate the release of the appointment of four magistrates of the Constitutional Court it has not liked the conservative ranks of the CGPJ either, who have asked that the matter be studied in full in order to be able to report.

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