Spain: Abortion Clinics Condemned for “False Advertising”

November 04, 2022

On September 14, 2022, the Spanish Supreme Court upheld the judgment rendered in January 2020 by the Provincial Court of Oviedo which condemns the Association of Accredited Clinics for the Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy (ACAI) for “false advertising.”

Indeed, explains the site Gènéthique, the association of these clinics declares on its website that “termination of pregnancy is an operation that leaves no after-effects.” The ACAI, which brings together most of the centers approved to perform abortions, will therefore have to pay the costs of the procedure and publish the Supreme Court's sentence on its web page.

The Spanish High Court thus sided with the Spanish Foundation of Christian Jurists, Abogados Cristianos, which denounced the ACAI for having concealed from women the possible consequences of an abortion.

In response to one of the frequently asked questions on its site, the ACAI stated: “The termination of pregnancy is an operation that leaves no after-effects, so that when you become pregnant, it will be as if you had never had an abortion.”

“There is also no risk of sterility linked to one or more abortions. Abortion is the most common surgical procedure in Spain that leaves no after-effects and the incidence of complications is very low.”

“Justice has finally been served,” said Polonia Castellanos, president of Abogados Cristianos. “This organization, out of greed, has lied to many women by encouraging them to abort as if they were safe from serious consequences,” she continues.

And, “given the seriousness of the sentence,” the president of Abogados Cristianos will send the judgment to all the health departments of Spain “so that they can terminate any contract with the abortion centers concerned.”

She also urged the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, “to make a statement on this judgment which condemns abortion centers for having lied to women” and calls for “the removal of subsidies and public money to these companies.”

On the Gènéthique website, Claire de la Hougue, doctor of law, lawyer at the Strasbourg Bar and associate researcher at the ECLJ (European Center for Law and Justice), explains the painful, too often hidden, reality of abortion.

“In addition to a number of immediate complications of varying severity, abortion increases the risk of premature birth in a subsequent pregnancy and of breast cancer, according to various studies. Other studies indicate that the risk of death of women who have an abortion compared to that of women who have given birth is greatly increased, regardless of the cause of death.”

“Above all,” she continues, “the mental health consequences are high. Anxiety, nightmares, addictions, depression, and suicide are considerably more frequent among women who have had an abortion and, on another level, the proportion of couples breaking up is also very high.”

The judgment of the Provincial Court of Asturias found the initial response “deceptive and misleading for patients” and “the Court ordered ACAI to publish the relevant parts of the judgment on its website for six months.”

After an “examination of the collected evidence” produced by “experts and witnesses invited by the plaintiffs,” the court considers “that no procedure of gynecological surgery is harmless” and that “it is proven that psychological damage is common and that infertility and other disorders can affect the female reproductive system.”

“Although physical damage (such as perforation of the uterus) is statistically very rare, the risks of psychological suffering and family problems are easily identifiable,” the court said.

Post-abortion syndrome, depression, and suicidal impulses are “very often observed by experts.” Furthermore, “abortion is seriously suspected of being the source of an increased risk of breast cancer in the first month following an abortion.”

“Surprisingly,” the judgment points out, “the defendants have not produced any evidence to defend the veracity of their statement regarding the harmless nature of abortion,” while “according to article 217.4 of the Spanish Code of Civil Procedure, in unfair competition and advertising proceedings, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that its advertising is accurate and show the material data on which the statements are based.”

This “suggests that they could not produce a document supporting their assertions.”