Spain now has the third highest number of abortions in Europe, after France and the United Kingdom
After five consecutive years of a downturn in the number of abortions in Spain, 94,123 abortions were carried out in 2017, 992 more than the 93,131 performed in 2016. According to data made public this Thursday by the Spanish Ministry for Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare, this corresponds to a 1% increase 2. In the last year, there were 10.51 abortions per thousand women, still far from the 12.47 per thousand women of 2011, when 118,611 abortions were recorded, the highest figure in the last ten years (read HERE).
By age, the highest rate was recorded in the 20 to 24 age group, 17.42 abortions per thousand women, somewhat higher than the previous year (16.72). This is followed by women aged 25 to 29 years, with a rate of 15.74, and those aged between 30 and 34 years old (12.61). There was a decrease in the age range 19 years and under, from 8.97 last year to the current 8.84. The rate was 8.98 in women aged 35 to 39 years, while it fell to 3.90 in those over 40 years.
In the case of those under 20 years, there was a slight decrease of 0.2% with respect to 2016. In 2017, 9,755 abortions were performed, 8.84 per thousand women in this age group. Also in this age group, if the data are compared with 2010, a considerable downward change can be observed: 30.92% fewer.
By autonomous regions, the highest abortion rate was recorded in the Balearic Islands, with 13.94 cases per thousand women, followed by Madrid (13.07), Catalonia (12.89), Asturias (12.73), the Canary Islands (11.29), Murcia (10.99), Andalusia (10.38), the Basque Country (9.98), Aragon (9.34), the Valencian region (8.06), Navarre (7.88), Cantabria (7.55), Castille-La Mancha (7.48), Galicia (6.51), Castille-León (6.21), La Rioja (6.09), Extremadura (6.06) and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla (4.80).
In 2017, at the woman’s request was again the main reason claimed to request abortion, with 89.75%, followed by serious risk for the life or health of the pregnant mother (6.38%), risk of severe abnormalities in the fetus (3.61%), and — very much in the minority — fetal abnormalities incompatible with life (0.30%).
The majority of the interventions were carried out at week 8 of pregnancy or earlier (70.22%). One in every four abortions (23.83%) was done between weeks 9 and 14 of pregnancy, while the rest were performed after week 15.
Almost two thirds (62.7%) had no previous abortions, while one in every four women (24.41%) had previously aborted; 8.22% had had two previous abortions and 2.77% had up to three.
The profile yielded by the data is that of a woman who lives with a partner (28.25%), with children (45.82%), junior and/or senior secondary education or equivalent (65.33%) and university studies (14.92%), employed (58%), and of Spanish nationality (66.09%) (see more HERE ).
Pro-life associations consider it a contradiction that in these times in which society “defends the rights of women, it discriminates and excludes those women who want to be mothers, offering them abortion as the only solution to the difficulties arising from their pregnancy”.
In light of the findings presented, it is worth taking into account that, although the population is declining, in the various age groups — and even though the use of contraceptives has increased — the number of abortions not only has failed to decrease, but has increased, albeit slightly.
In our opinion, this clearly indicates that the practices proposed to reduce abortions are not effective, and that we need to dive deeper into the root of the problem, which is undoubtedly related with the sense of human sexuality, the dignity of women, their autonomy and the good of the unborn child, as well as the value that these new lives have in relation to the serious demographic problems that exist in our society.