A CGPJ report suggests maintaining parental consent for minors aged 16 and 17 to abort

The General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) has presented a critical report regarding the reform of the abortion law proposed by the Ministry of Equality. Among other issues, the report indicates that the elimination of parental consent for girls under 16 and 17 years of age is one of the fundamental axes of the bill that should be reconsidered.

The plenary of the CGPJ will study on December 22 the report proposal drafted by Roser Bach Y angeles carmona. This letter has been sent to the rest of the members so that they can make their observations before the debate.

The speakers consider that some of the modifications introduced in the current law on sexual and reproductive health and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy are not “conveniently justified”. In particular, they focus on the right to information and the period of reflection for the provision of consent.

They say that the consent “without knowledge” of the parents “makes the duties” of parental authority difficult

The report acknowledges that removing the requirement for parental consent for 16- and 17-year-old girls does not contravene international recommendations or the doctrine of European Court of Human Rights. However, it is warned that the “autonomous and without knowledge” consent of the parents “makes the duties” of parental authority difficult, such as guidance or advice. The speakers add that, by constitutional imperative, parents must provide assistance of all kinds to their children during their minority.

The vowels believe that the current systemwhich requires the consent of the minor and her parents in case of abortion, is justified. In the event of a conflict, it could be resolved through a procedure provided for in the regulation itself that would allow both interests to be reconciled and give relevance to the decision-making capacity of the minor together with the duties of the legal representatives.

On the three days of reflection

The bill to reform the abortion law eliminates the mandatory three-day reflection period before undergoing an abortion. However, the proposed report of the CGPJ points out that this period is a necessary budget for an adequate formation of the will and for the adoption of a “conscious and meditated” decision.

The speakers believe that it would be making it “difficult” for women to access information

The letter also criticizes the elimination of the current procedure of delivering an envelope with information on resources for the woman who comes to have an abortion and that includes maternity benefits and aid. Instead of this, The Equality standard provides that this information will only be given to the woman who requests it. The speakers affirm that they would be “depriving or, at least, making it difficult” to access information on issues that could be of interest to them.

However, the members add that this information must be adequate, complete and sufficient, and must not be oriented exclusively to the practice of abortion, but also to the protection of maternity “without introducing ethical or religious considerations”. The text also criticizes the proposal of the Department of Irene Montero that public health is the reference network for abortion and it is defended that the right to abortion can be exercised in duly accredited private centers.

Conscientious objection and menstrual leave

In relation to the conscientious objection of health workers, the report requests that access to the registry of conscientious objector personnel be specified in a regulatory instrument of infraorganic rank.

Regarding sick leave due to incapacitating menstruation, the speakers warn of the absence of justification in the regulation of temporary disability and they point out that the new regulations will allow the employer to know the reason for their absence from work.

“This circumstance may cause effects completely contrary to those intended, giving rise to marginalization or stigmatization reactions on women in general and on those who suffer the effects of secondary disabling menstruation in particular”, they conclude.

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