Catalonia first region to extend abortion pill use to 14 weeks

by Lorraine Williamson
abortion pill
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BARCELONA – Catalonia is the first autonomous region in Spain to extend medical abortion, the ‘abortion pill’ to 14 weeks. This was announced by the Delegate of Health, Josep Maria Argimon. 

He explained the new protocol that women can follow to request a voluntary interruption of their pregnancy. Previously, women could get an abortion pill up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. Moreover, the method will be offered in hospitals. 

See also: Spain gets new abortion law, menstrual leave and free pill 

Argimon emphasised that the decision to terminate the pregnancy is always made by the woman who has been adequately informed and accompanied by a healthcare professional. 

The new protocol also contains recommendations for pain relief, advice that should lead to the procedure being as minimally invasive as possible and reducing all risks. Finally, the new procedure also includes models tailored to women with chronic conditions or other health risks associated with abortion. 

Benefits of Medical Abortion 

Among the benefits of the abortion pill is the fact that it mimics the natural process of abortion. The pregnancy termination is less invasive and can be performed accompanied by family members. In addition, bleeding and distention can also be programmed and predicted. 

Because a medical abortion does not involve surgery and general anaesthesia, the woman is less at risk of complications. 

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See also: Spain pioneers menstrual leave 

The intervention in this manner is “particularly beneficial” for women with obesity, uterine malformations or previous cervical surgery, Anna Torrent added. She is the Clinical Coordinator of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Unit in Mollet (Barcelona). 

See also: Spanish doctors refuse abortion, despite the procedure being legal 

However, Torrent warned that this type of abortion takes longer to complete, can cause abdominal pain and bleeding, and lead to other side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. In addition, 5% of women also need a second intervention. 

Problems with the accessibility of the right to abortion 

However, the right to abortion is not equally accessible to all women in Spain. This is especially true for public health care. In many regions, conservative doctors refuse to cooperate. According to Argimon, compared to the rest of Spain, the accessibility of abortion in Catalonia is much better. Spain “is a desert” when it comes to granting this right. 

Abortion is also a matter of independence and fundamental rights of women 

The Minister of Equality and Feminism, Tània Verge, argued that abortion is not only a health issue but also a question of “independence and fundamental rights of women”. She has also defended that the new protocol is an acknowledgement of a historical feminist and has defended that the new protocol is an acknowledgement of historical feminist justification. 

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