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Sexual Health Law: An advance for women?


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Ángela Aparisi

Professor of Law at the University of Navarra, Spain Philosophy

Last August 30, the Government sent to Parliament the project organic law amending Organic Law 2/2010, of March 3, on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy. There are many questions raised by this project. However, I will focus on just one: does the project really imply an advance in women's rights and autonomy?

1. With regard to the exercise of freedom and the requirement of real autonomy, it is clear that in order for a person to be able to give real, and not merely formal, informed consent, it is necessary for them to be provided with as much information as possible and to have a certain margin of time to be able to decide calmly. However, the new project, in its article 14, has eliminated the requirements established in the Organic Law 2/2010, of March 3, on sexual and reproductive health and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, that, before an abortion is performed, the pregnant woman must be given report "about the rights, benefits and public aid to support maternity and that a three-day reflection period of deadline has elapsed". This, in my opinion, implies a clear step backwards for the real and informed autonomy of the woman and, in final, for her freedom.

2. Any rules and regulations that affects aspects of health should avoid frivolity and adopt an attitude manager based on scientific evidence. However, project promotes a frivolous and irresponsible policy, at subject health. Among other things, it promotes and encourages the distribution of the 'morning after pill', even free of charge in pharmacies, institutes and health centers. This is contrary to what is indicated in the technical data sheet of the pill itself, which states that it is a product for occasional use, and that it should not replace a contraceptive for regular use. This takes the opposite direction of health protection currently in force in our country, in relation, for example, to the sale of alcohol to minors, the dispensing of medicines only by prescription, etc. This irresponsibility will have unforeseeable consequences on health, especially for young and adolescent girls.

3. The project also repeals the provisions of Organic Law 11/2015, of September 21, by establishing the possibility that a minor girl can have an abortion without parental consent. With this, it encourages the marginalization, and exclusion, of parents at a decisive moment in the life of their daughters, favoring the lack of communication with them. In reality, the young woman is left alone in the face of a status that is not her responsibility alone.

In final, for these, among other reasons, we are facing a project that does not seek to improve the real condition of women, but has a strong ideological, frivolous and irresponsible component.