Gendering Abortion Debates: State Feminism in Spain

Celia Valiente

in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199242665
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600258 | DOI:

Series: Gender and Politics

 Gendering Abortion Debates: State Feminism in Spain

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After the establishment of a democratic constitution in Spain, the Socialist government included abortion law reform on its agenda to modernize Spanish policy in line with other European democracies. Facing intense opposition, the government allowed abortions only for ethical, eugenic, and therapeutic conditions. For the women's movement, abortion reform was a top priority, but activists were not heard directly, and had to settle for this moderate legalization. When the Ministry of Health sought to add further restrictions through a cumbersome set of committees and regulations, the women's movement had a women's policy agency inside the bureaucracy as an ally. The agency intervened to facilitate women's access to abortion services and thus helped the movement gain a successful response from the state.

Keywords: abortion law; activism; conditional abortion; democratic constitution; Ministry of Health; Socialist party; Spain; state; women's movement; women's policy agency

Chapter.  7304 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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