The Minister for Equality, Irene Monterohas defended this Tuesday the “right of all women to interrupt their pregnancy in the public center closest». “There will always have to be staff available”has warned, at the press conference of the Council of Ministers, after the approval of the new abortion law, that will allow women under 16 and 17 years of age to abort without parental consent, in addition to promoting its realization in the centers of the public network. The rule – which has been processed urgently to skip the report of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ)- will force the autonomous communities to create a register of health objectors who do not want to carry out the voluntary interruption of pregnancy so that there are always enough professionals in the public services to be able to carry it out. Abortion will be free until the 14th week of gestation.
This registry has generated controversy in the medical community, to the extent that it forces health workers to express their refusal to carry out this practice. Montero has not been shy about pointing out that «once we know, in the private and in the public, the health personnel who object to the practice of voluntary interruptions of pregnancy, each hospital center and autonomous community will have to guarantee that there is always personnel available ». According to the minister, “what cannot happen is that the exercise of a constitutional right such as conscientious objection prevents access to a fundamental right so that more than half of the population, women, can decide about our own body” .
The law establishes that “a registry of health professionals who decide to conscientiously object to direct intervention in the practice of voluntary interruption of pregnancy will be created in each autonomous community.” “Those who declare themselves conscientious objectors will be so for the purposes of the direct practice of the provision of voluntary interruption of pregnancy both in the field of public and private health.”
Montero has celebrated that the new law “makes the right of objection compatible with that of all women to interrupt their pregnancy, if that is their decision.” According to the minister, the rule is indicative of “the democratic quality” of the country, since the “right to decide on one’s own body is part of the right to health” and, at the same time, “opens the gateway to the exercise of many rights”, such as the possibility that women can “choose their life projects”. Montero has boasted of belonging to a “feminist government that in times of crisis guarantees rights for all women.”
Montero has also highlighted other measures of the norm, such as access to abortion without parental permission for minors under 16 and 17 years of age, or the elimination of the three days of reflection. “The State respects the decision of women, it does not doubt their decision,” he pointed out in this regard.
“The taboo of the rule”
Among other measures, the minister has also highlighted that with this law «the rule will cease to be a taboo» and free menstrual hygiene products will be dispensed in schools, prisons and social centers, as a measure “against menstrual poverty”. However, the Government has not agreed to lower VAT on these products. Also included is the controversial “temporary disability” covered entirely by the State by painful or incapacitating rules. “Working with pain is over,” said Montero.