The issue of abortion is a complex and sensitive one. According to the interpretations of international mechanisms for the protection of human rights, access to safe abortion is important for the fulfillment of women’s rights (for example, the right to life, to health, to non-discrimination, privacy, information, or not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, among others). These international mechanisms have ruled in favour of the liberalisation of laws on abortion, including in their recommendations to Spain.
As established by the European Court of Human Rights, once States have adopted legislation allowing abortion, the legal framework cannot hinder practical access to it. The Court will supervise national legal frameworks in order to see how they strike a balance between the conflicting interests and, to this end, oversees whether or not the system has devised in a coherent manner which allows the different interests involved to be taken into account adequately and in accordance with the obligations deriving from the European Convention on Human Rights. All unjustified obstacles to legal abortions are disproportionate and liable to be discriminatory.