For members


What are Spain’s abortion laws for foreign residents and visitors?

With news that millions of women across the United States could soon lose their right to an abortion, we look at what the abortion laws are in Spain and find out if women overseas can fly to Spain to have the procedure.

What are Spain's abortion laws for foreign residents and visitors?
Women with slogans written on their bellies reading "Yes to life, but I choose" and "Priests and judges stay away from my body", during a protest against a proposed reform of the country's abortion law in 2012. Spain has recently banned the harassment of women having abortions. Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

What happens if you find yourself in a difficult situation and need to terminate your pregnancy because of health or psychological reasons or even personal circumstances? Is it possible to get an abortion in Spain?

Abortion has been legal in Spain since 1985.

The initial version of Organic Law 9/1985 law allowed abortion in three cases: in criminology or rape cases within the first 12 weeks, if the pregnancy posed a threat to the physical or mental wellbeing of the pregnant woman (without a limit) or if the fetus could be born with serious physical or psychological defects within the first 22 weeks of gestation.

Then in 2010, the Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy was approved, allowing any woman over the age of 18 to terminate a pregnancy of her own free will during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Foreign visitors

Spanish abortion law also allows foreigners to travel to Spain and have the procedure done here. Of course, foreign patients must also abide by the law set out above – ie. voluntary abortions are not possible after 14 weeks of gestation, but they can take place up until 22 weeks if there is a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman or if the fetus has serious abnormalities or an incurable disease.  

Be aware, however, that if you are under the age of 18, you will need your parents’ consent if you wish to terminate a pregnancy.

Foreigners who do not reside in Spain cannot get abortions through the Spanish public health system and will have to pay for it privately instead. This is because they are not registered with the health system and do not pay social security to be able to access it.

Abortion clinic

Is it possible for foreigners to get an abortion in Spain? The short answer is yes. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

This means that you will have to go to a private clinic or hospital instead. 

There are many private abortion clinics across Spain that are willing to treat foreign visitors, particularly in the country’s big cities, where you’ll be able to find a doctor who can speak to you in English or maybe even your own native language.

According to the latest stats from the Spanish government, there are a total of 207 authorised private abortion clinics in Spain. 

It’s unlikely that your health insurance from your home country will cover for procedures abroad, but it’s best to check with them first. 

If not, you’ll have to pay yourself. Prices for an abortion at a private clinic in Spain start at €300. 

Foreign residents

If you’re a foreign resident in Spain who is legally registered as living here and paying into the social security system, then technically you will be able to receive an abortion for free through the national health service.

However, in reality, this is not always possible as many doctors across Spain refuse to perform abortions, calling themselves “conscientious objectors”.

FOCUS: How women in Spain face barriers despite abortion being legal

So many doctors deny the procedure across the country, that there are 11 provinces in Spain, where no public hospitals have carried out voluntary abortions since the law allowed it in 2010, according to data from the Health Ministry

Furthermore, eight of these provinces have not reported abortions in the past 30 years. 

This means that if you live in Huesca and Teruel in Aragón; Ávila, Palencia, Segovia, Soria or Zamora in Castilla y León; Cuenca, Guadalajara and Toledo in Castilla-La Mancha); and Cáceres in Extremadura, it could be almost impossible for you to get a termination through the public health system.

Across Spain as a whole only 6.20 percent of all abortions, according to the most recent data from the Ministry of Health, were performed in public hospitals. Another 8.12 percent were performed in specialised centres of the public network, while a huge majority (almost 86 percent) were performed in outpatient centres of private clinics.

If you go straight to a private clinic, it’s unlikely that your social security will cover the procedure, however if you go to your public health doctor or gynaecologist first, they may be able to refer you to a private clinic, meaning that social security may be able to cover it. Be aware though, the waiting times will be a lot longer if you do it the second way. 

READ ALSO: Where in Spain is primary healthcare most overburdened?

Last month, Spain announced that it had criminalised the harassment or intimidation of women going for an abortion under new legislation approved by the Senate.

This means anti-abortion activists who try and convince women not to terminate their pregnancies could face up to a year behind bars.

According to the latest Spanish government data, the number of voluntary abortions decreased in 2020 by 10.97 percent compared to the previous year, registering a total of 88,269. 

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For members


The new health and property tax deductions in Spain’s Valencia region

Valencia's regional government has announced tax cuts that could give millions of Valencians rebates on property purchases as well as mental health, dental and sports activity costs.

The new health and property tax deductions in Spain's Valencia region

During the regional election campaign in Valencia in May, Spain’s right-wing Partido Popular (PP) government campaigned, partly at least, on tax cut commitments.

Now the PP President of the Generalitat, Carlos Mazón, has announced a raft of “tax relief” measures for millions of Valencian residents that focus on rebates for property purchases, dental and optician’s expenses, mental health treatment and sports and exercise costs.

This builds on the PP election pledges, and comes after its abolition of Inheritance and Gift Tax in the region.

Mazón, along with regional Minister of Finance, Ruth Merino, will incorporate the further tax cuts into the region’s 2024 Budget. The relief package is based on two main branches of fiscal reform: firstly, deductions in Income Tax (IRPF as it is known in Spain) and, secondly, by applying a new reduced rate for the Property Transfer Tax.

The regional president has been keen to signal a new direction in tax policy in the Valencian Community. “The change has begun and this change is being carried out,” Mazón said when outlining the new measures to the press. The tax cuts will, according to Generalitat estimates, have a fiscal impact of €200 million.

READ ALSO: Why many people in Alicante feel cheated by the Spanish State

Of the cuts, 180 of the estimated €200 million will come from income tax cuts. For IRPF, the PP led regional government has proposed a series of deductions in seven key areas of income tax for individual declarations of income up to €32,000 and joint income declarations of up to €48,000.

In total, Mazón pointed out that taken along with the abolition of Inheritance and Gift Tax, the regional government has made total tax cuts of €365 million: the almost €200 million in deductions and slashing of property taxes, in addition to the previous €166 million in Inheritance and Gift Tax, a measure yet to be approved by the regional executive.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to pay less Spanish IBI property tax

“It is aimed at those who need it most, at the lowest income brackets”, Mazón said, pointing out that more than two million taxpayers will be eligible for rebates, “almost nine out of every ten” in his words. It should be noted, however, that these proposals in the draft bill are still subject to debate in the Valencian regional Cortes, and Mazón stressed that they present a “draft bill as a proposal open to dialogue” with proposals that can “enrich the text”.

The deductions will also be applied retroactively from 1 January 2023 for the next income tax return and will be cumulative, that is to say, deductions for sporting activities can be added to those for oral health expenses, for example.

Property tax cuts

A main pillar of the reforms focuses on property taxes, especially for young people, and cuts the property transfer tax (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales, ITP).

Mazón has announced a “super-reduced ITP rate” of 6 percent, lowering it from the current 8 percent for all young people under 35 years of age who buy a home of up to €180,000. This measure is expected to benefit some 15,000 young people and have an impact of €14.7 million.

READ ALSO: Where are the best and worst places for inheritance tax in Spain?

“The priority is for those who earn the least, those who are currently under the most tax pressure,” Mazón said, adding that the government hopes that tax cut measures will provide incentives for young people to get on the property ladder. In addition, there is also a reduction on this rate for purchases of a main residence that is social housing when the price of the property is below €180,000. 

The super-reduced rate will also apply to large families, women victims of gender violence or people with disabilities wanting to purchase property up to €180,000, who will see their rate reduced from 4 percent to 3 percent on property purchases.

Health deductions

The new rafts of tax cuts also introduce a series of rebates on health expenses.

These deductions will be 30 percent for dental health expenses up to €150, 30 percent up to €100 for optical expenses, 30 percent up to €150 for mental health treatment and support expenses, and 30 percent up to €150 expenses associated with sports.

In the case of sports costs, Mazón gave examples of club and federation fees, expenses and gym membership costs.

This builds on tax deductions of up to €100 for families with someone suffering a chronic illness, which is extended to €150 if it is a large or single-parent family, and deductions of up to €100 for expenses generated by family members with Alzheimer’s disease or brain damage, again extended up to €150 if it is a large or single-parent family.

READ ALSO: Alicante vs Valencia – Which one is better to live in Spain?