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Written Comments on the Proposed Legislation on Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy before the Spanish Government

The Center for Reproductive Rights respectfully submits the following comments on the "Proposition of Organic Law on the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy" (Proposición de Ley Orgánica sobre interrupción voluntaria del embarazo. Presentado el 17/04/2008, calificado el 22/04/2008) for the consideration of the distinguished representatives of the Spanish government.

The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is a non-profit, non-governmental legal advocacy organization dedicated to defending and promoting women's reproductive health and rights worldwide. The Center works at the national, regional, and international levels, including at the Council of Europe and the European Union.

The Center commends the Spanish government for seeking to liberalize the country's abortion legislation and was pleased to learn that the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on the Legislation of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy recently presented recommendations to legalize abortion in the first trimester and up to 22 weeks of gestation with a medical certification confirming that the pregnancy poses serious threat to the pregnant woman's health or fetal malformation. Through this submission, the Center aims to inform the Spanish government's current deliberations regarding the proposed legislation by providing an overview of Spain's international and regional human rights obligations regarding the decriminalization of abortion and the trend toward liberalization of abortion legislation throughout Europe, as well as provide a few examples of "best practices" and progressive abortion reform within the region. In providing the above-referenced information, the Center hopes to encourage the Spanish government to pass abortion legislation that embodies respect for the health and human rights of Spanish women, in-line with Spain's international and regional human rights commitments.