AMNESTY International staged a demonstration last night (Saturday) in Valencia with over 340 members calling for women’s ‘sexual and reproductive rights’ to be considered ‘basic human rights’.
They were largely protesting over Spain’s plans to make it compulsory for women aged over 15 but under 18, or disabled women of any age, to obtain their parents’ permission before being allowed to have an abortion for whatever reason, since they say this could put them at extreme risk.
Amnesty International, based upon figures from gynaecology departments, has shown that although the majority of women and girls aged under 18 are accompanied by one or both parents when they have an abortion, many of those who do not tell their parents are keeping it from them because of the potential psychological or even physical harm they could otherwise face.
From lifelong recriminations and put-downs to parents not allowing their daughters to have an abortion if they are against it in principle, through to being thrown out of the family home, forced to marry a rapist who got her pregnant, or even honour killings, women aged 16 and 17 who do not wish to tell their family are more likely to seek other, far more dangerous means of terminating a pregnancy, Amnesty International says.
This could mean back-street abortion ‘clinics’, or taking their own steps to make themselves miscarry, both of which could seriously threaten their lives and health.
Amnesty International also says such a deeply personal decision should be made by the affected woman herself, whatever her age, and should not be forced upon her by other adults.