Two abortion clinics in Madrid have been sanctioned for false advertising, specifically for denying that abortion can have side effects.
La Fundación de Abogados Cristianos (the Spanish foundation of Christian lawyers) plans to leverage the sanctions, and the court case they’re based on, to garner support for stopping public funding of abortion.
Clinica Dator and Clinica El Bosque were fined by the regional health inspector following a complaint filed by Abogados Cristianos. The sanctions came on the heels of a regional high court sentence against the Association of Accredited Clinics for the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (ACAI) for a similar offence. Both the Clinica Dator and the Clinica El Bosque are members of ACAI.
The sentence condemned ACAI for advertising that was “illicit because it is misleading” since the organisation’s website asserted that abortion “does not have complications or secondary effects,” El Debate reports. The final ruling was handed down on September 14th after the court denied an appeal by ACAI.
El Debate also reports that the original text in question in the case reads:
The interruption of pregnancy is a surgery that leaves no lasting side effects … There is also no risk of sterility from undergoing one or more abortions. Abortion is the most frequent surgical intervention in Spain that does not have side effects and the incidence of complications is very low.
For Abogados Cristianos the court ruling, and the sanctions, are a victory for women.
“This sanction is just one more example of the numerous irregularities committed by these companies, which were also sanctioned a few years ago by the Community of Madrid for deceiving women. These businesses should not receive any type of public financing,” the president of Abogados Cristianos, Polonia Castellanos, said in a statement.
“The ruling of the High Court confirms that these centres have been deceiving women, hiding from them the secondary effects that an abortion can cause, with the sole objective of earning more money,” she also stressed.
Castellanos also said her organization is taking the ruling to the EU to garner support for retracting public funding for abortions in Spain.
“We will present the Supreme Court ruling in the European Parliament and we will seek all the necessary allies in Europe to put an end to the abortion business in Spain,” she said.
Though the clinics that were sanctioned are private, abortions done in these clinics are usually paid for by the public health service.