MADRID – Twelve provinces in Spain have reported no abortions in public clinics in 2022. These services are still mainly provided in private centres.
These are two of the main conclusions from the latest annual report on voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVE), just published by the Ministry of Health. However, the number of abortions in public centres continues to rise slightly as some provinces begin to report more abortions, especially in hospitals, than in previous years.
The provinces that reported no abortions last year are:
- Jaén (Andalucia)
- Huesca and Teruel (Aragon)
- Cuenca, Toledo, and Guadalajara (Castilla-La Mancha)
- Palencia, Soria, Ávila, Segovia and Zamora (Castilla y León)
- Cáceres (Extremadura)
This implies that women living in said provinces have been referred to other provinces in their autonomous community, or even to other autonomous communities, to obtain an abortion. On the other hand, there are provinces that report abortions, but also refer patients to other regions, as Newtral.es previously reported.
Health Report data shows that up to 4,452 abortions were requested in those 12 provinces but were not performed, forcing women to travel to end their pregnancies.
Burgos stands out
The Spanish province of Burgos stands out as one of the provinces where the number of abortions in public health centres increased sharply after the new legislation in 2023. While 17.1% took place in a public clinic in 2021, this skyrocketed in 2022 to 56.8%. This is mainly due to the services of the HUBU hospital. In fact, these are the only ones in all of Castilla y León that take place in public centres. They make up 8.7% of the total number of abortions in the autonomous community.
Shift throughout Spain
Moreover, we are not only seeing this trend in Burgos. Public hospitals are also now reporting abortions in Zaragoza and Castellón. In Galicia, the number of public centres reporting abortions even increased significantly: from 22% in 2021 to 42% in 2022.
Change in Madrid
Also in the Madrid region there are now public hospitals that report abortions. This is in contrast to previous years. However, the majority of abortions still take place in private clinics.
Influence of new legislation
This shift is partly due to the new abortion law passed in February 2023. One of the main goals of this law is to allow abortions to be performed in public centres. The law provides for the creation of a register of conscientious objectors in each autonomous community. This way, hospitals can better organise their services without referring to private clinics.
Raquel Hurtado, coordinator of the social intervention area of the Federation for Family Planning (SEDRA-FPFE), said this trend shows that some hospitals are starting to correct the failure to report abortions. However, she emphasises that the total number is still minimal.