Private clinics, which perform most of the abortions in Spain, began a five day strike on Tuesday in response to alleged harassment and persecution by government investigators and anti-abortion extremists. Only emergency operations will be performed. The strike was organized by the Association of Accredited Abortion Clinics, who estimate that it will effect approximately 2,000 women, reports the New York Times.
Current law in Spain only allows abortion during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy if there is a risk of fetal malformation and the first 12 weeks in cases of rape. Otherwise, abortions are only allowed if the mental or physical health is at risk. According to the BBC, doctors in Spain are trying to change abortion law in the country to more closely match that of other European nations, where abortion is generally allowed during the first trimester.
Media Resources: New York Times 1/9/08; BBC News 1/9/08; Guardian Unlimited 1/9/08