Posted on | February 7, 2012 by Timothy Herrmann |
After the passage of Spain’s liberal abortion law in 2010 the government began subsidizing abortion on demand, providing it at no cost to the mother. Currently, however, the government owes nearly 5 million euros (6.5 million dollars) in missed payments to local clinics for abortion services and has been unable to make any promises on how it expects to pay its debts. In the city of Madrid alone, the Spanish government owes nearly 2.5 millon euros (3.3 millions dollars alone). Unable to make the payments, local clinics have been forced to foot the bill for the services they provide on their own given that abortion, until recently, was mandated by law as both free and on demand.
The situation is the most complicated in Madrid, where private hospitals have been unable to pay their abortion bills for over year. Public hospitals are even further behind and there is no sign of catching up. Most abortion are conducted at private clinics however, and the question remains on how they have been able to cover the cost of the abortion services they provide without government funding.
The big picture is the following, given that the Spanish government is incapable of taking financial responsibility for it’s own liberal abortion laws, it is face with the very real possibility of having to either change the law, or to find another way to subsidize what the Spanish government cannot subsidize on its own. Either way, the abortion law in Spain is in danger of a major overhaul. This may be one of the main reasons behind the Minister of Justice’s recent decision to reinstate the previous law which governed abortion in the country and that was put in place in 1985. That law did not guarantee abortion as a right, and more importantly, did not guarantee that it would provided for free and on demand through the subsidies of the Spanish government.