The medical profession puts in evidence the gaps of the new abortion law and demands for a specific informed consent protocol that offers guarantees of validity and respect for the opinion and autonomy of women with information on the nature of the operation and its risks.
Doctors have declared themselves on this controversial issue. First, they have pointed out that no one can talk about “abortion rights” because the life right is fundamental and indispensable, and it is still considered as a crime except in the terms stated by the law. Regarding this, they have pointed out that they have enacted a new broad law instead of putting the means to fulfill the previous law.
Luis Ciprés, member of the Central deontological Commission of Medical College Organization (OMC) has expounded in a document discussed at the last “Second Congress of the Medical Profession” the dangers of this new law that “creates an area of absolute impunity and empowerment of women to abort up until 14 weeks of pregnancy” and he wonders whether it is ethical to create areas of impunity in which fundamental goods of other people are injure without any ethical and legal responsibility.
Joan Mones (member of the Central deontological Commission), José Mª Lailla (vice-president of the Spanish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology), Emilio Garcia de la Torre (president of the medical College of Jaen) and Sebastian Martinez Fernandez (president of the medical College of Zamora) have participated in a round table about “The doctor in view of the new abortion law”. It has been chaired by Enrique de la Figuera, president of the medical College of Zaragoza.
It has also coincided to warn that abortion “can not and should not be considered as a contraceptive method and should not be promoted as family planning.”
According to the theory, it is a mistake to talk about “voluntary interruption of pregnancy” to refers to this new law since “everything that is interrupted can be resumed and, of course, this is not the case”.
Mental causes statements
One of the main problems is the determination of psychological causes that would justify abortion, according to the law. Doctors are wondering ¿how mental affection that pregnancy would cause in the woman’s future can be assessed? According to this law only a signature is required to consent it and the experience has already given us several cases of irregularities in medical reports that claim psychical causes to recommend abortion: “an important decision of irreversible consequences that can not be adopted by a single doctor”.
It also discusses the concept of “mature patient” and it is shocking that some teens can not participate in some lessons and can not be prosecuted criminally, nonetheless they are granted absolute autonomy to abort. In addition, according to what was reflected “neither government nor parliament can remove to the parents the right to protect their children and move them to the doctor who would perform the abortion”.
It also seems that the legal certainty of doctors do not increase with a law that decriminalizes abortion up until very specific dates of the pregnancy. It is known that it is not easy to define with precision the gestational age up until abortion is permitted and therefore it is not a criminal offense. Therefore, they state that “neither doctors nor the unborn child will be better protected than under the previous act”.
Objection is not negotiable
According to medical profession representatives, doctors will accept laws emanating from parliament, but always subjecting them to the higher value of freedom of conscience of each one. Conscientious objection “is a fundamental and inalienable right” and according to the medical deontological Code, the physician objector should not be punished. It was recalled that “laws must seek the best possible coexistence” and abortion “should be considered a final decision and not a desirable way.”
Therefore, they have been demanded minimum guarantees which include, for example, a sufficient period of reflection, a report of public and private social aid that they can qualify in case they decide to continue with the pregnancy, as well as the convenience and importance of informing parents or guardians to not to deprive the child of their advice, support and help.
They were largely coincident in some points when they vote the position of medical representatives:
- The term “voluntary interruption of pregnancy” does not define this problem correctly.
- It is wrong that the minors were given complete autonomy to abort.
- The specific information about “abortion” should not be included in training curricula of all doctors.
- With this new law doctors who perform abortion does not have greater legal guarantees than the previous law.
- It would be necessary to establish a specific informed consent protocol that guarantees validity and respect for the public and empower women with information about the operation and its risks.