Abortion legislation

Legislation timeline

  • 1985: Abortion is allowed (Constitutional Law 9/1985 of 5 July 1985)
  • 2010: Abortion is allowed "on request" (Constitutional Law 2/2010 of 3 March 2010)
  • 2015: Constitutional Law 11/2015 of 21 September
  • 2023: Abortion law allows 16 and 17 year-olds to undergo an abortion without parental consent

Source: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/prevPromocion/embarazo/home.htm#datos

Abortion conditions

Ground Gestational limit
To save a woman’s life 24 weeks from LMP
Because of foetal impairment 24 weeks from LMP
To preserve a woman’s mental health
To preserve a woman’s physical health
For economic and social reasons
On request 14 weeks from LMP

Source:

Legal conditions

  • Written consent by the woman
  • Pre-abortion consultation (legal counselling)
  • Pre-abortion confirmation consultation
  • Pre-abortion laboratory tests
  • Mandatory 3-day period between pre-abortion consultation and abortion procedure
  • Contraception evoked during at least 1 of the medical consultations.

Specific conditions for minors

  • Parent’s (or guardian’s) consent required for minors under 18.

Source:

  • IPPF European Network – http://www.ippfen.org/
  • Federación de Planificación Familiar de España (FPFE) – http://www.fpfe.org/

Practical conditions

Medical abortion conditions

Place Prescription 1st drug taken 2nd drug taken
OB/GYN department of a hospital/clinic Yes Yes Yes
Another physician office
Midwife office No No No
Abortion centre/clinic Yes Yes No
At home No No Yes

Source: http://www.ippfen.org ; http://www.fpfe.org/

Mandatory pre-abortion examinations

  • Blood group and rhesus factor

Involved healthcare professionals

  • Surgical abortion: obstetrician/gynaecologist (OB/GYN) or another physician
  • Medical abortion: OB/GYN, another physician or another health care professional (HCP) under physician supervision

Source:

  • IPPF European Network – http://www.ippfen.org/
  • Federación de Planificación Familiar de España (FPFE) – http://www.fpfe.org/

Abortion statistics

Abortion rates per 1,000 women aged 15-49

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1

Overall number of induced abortions

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1

Abortion ratio per 1.000 live births: 268 (2021)

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/prevPromocion/embarazo/docs/IVE_2021.pdf

Abortions performed “on request”: 91% (2022)

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1

Overall number of induced abortions vs. medical abortions

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/docs/IVE_2022.pdf

Induced abortions per gestational age (2022)

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1

Place of abortion (2022)

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1

Characteristics of women having induced abortion

Distribution of induced abortions according to woman age (2022)

Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1

In 2022, among women who had induced abortion:

  • 98% lived in Spain
  • 33% had at least one previous induced abortion
  • 50% had at least one child

Source:

  • https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/datosEstadisticos.htm#Tabla1
  • https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/docs/IVE_2022.pdf

Fertility and contraception

Fertility rates in women aged 15-49

Source: https://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/en/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736177003&menu=ultiDatos&idp=1254735573002

Women age at first birth

  • 32.6 years of age (2022)

Overall contraception data

  • 70% of women aged 15-49 used a contraceptive method (2020):
  • 19% used oral contraceptive
  • 8% used intra-uterine device (IUD).

Pre-abortion contraception

  • In 2022, 49% of women who had abortion had a contraceptive method before abortion procedure.
    Source: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/prevPromocion/embarazo/docs/IVE_2021.pdf

Contraception during abortion process

  • IUDs are placed on the day of abortion procedure
  • Implants are placed 15 to 30 days after abortion procedure.

Source:

  • https://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/en/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736177003&menu=ultiDatos&idp=1254735573002
  • https://hosting.sec.es/descargas/Encuesta_%20anticoncepcion2020.pdf
  • https://www.sanidad.gob.es/en/areas/promocionPrevencion/embarazo/docs/IVE_2022.pdf

Country-specific characteristics

  • Women have to give written consent.
  • Abortion is not taught during health care professionals’ (HCPs’) medical studies.
  • All HCPs have the right to conscientiously object. The decision is individual and only involves professionals. The objection should be previously written (Law 2/2010 article 19).
  • Both surgical and medical abortions are free of charge for resident and non-resident women.

Source:

  • IPPF European Network – Updated January 2012 (http://www.ippfen.org/)
  • Federación de Planificación Familiar de España (FPFE) (http://www.fpfe.org/)

Download statistics of Spain

The statistics presented are freely accessible and may be used, copied, displayed or distributed provided that their source is given. You can choose whether you prefer to download the statistics of the last 10 years or the full data set. Press one of the buttons to generate a report in PDF format for this country.

Abbreviations: EFTA = European Free Trade Association | EU = European Union | IUD = intra-uterine device | LARC = long-acting reversible contraception | LMP = last menstruation period | GYN = gynaecologist | HCP = health care professional | hCG = human chorionic gonadotropin | HIV = human immunodeficiency virus | OB = obstetrician | Rh = Rhesus | US = ultrasound

A special thanks to our correspondents for contributing in data collection.
Please contact info@exelgyn.com if you have additional data or would like to comment information

Page last updated: 29 February 2024