The report, which was issued on the International Day of Violence Against Women, notes that Spain has one of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe, allowing women to kill their unborn child for “psychological” reasons at any time during their pregnancy.
Under Spain’s practically nonexistent restrictions, abortions have more than doubled since the mid 1990s, climbing from 51,006 in 1996 to over 120,000 in 2007. The abortion rate is now approaching one in five pregnancies (18.3%), according to the report.
Although purely elective abortions are not technically legal under Spanish law, the vast majority (97%) were undertaken due to a purported psychological or physical risk to the mother.
Undercover investigations by Spanish media in late 2007 showed that abortion clinics in Spain maintain financial ties with psychologists who automatically issue assessments to abortion clinic customers stating that the woman is psychologically at risk from her pregnancy
The IPF report also notes that the proportion of women having their second or later abortion has risen substantially since 2000, from 23% that year to 31% in 2006.