The Right To a Name
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Spain enacted a new law this month that will set up a civil registry for stillborn babies, a move that some grieving parents have welcomed but feminist groups have labeled as a “frontal attack” on a woman’s right to an abortion, Euronews reported.
Under the new legislation, babies who die before birth – but have remained in the womb for more than six months – must be registered and can have a full name in the civil register file.
The new “stillbirth declaration” register came more than a year after a majority of lawmakers approved the change following demands from pregnancy loss associations.
Before the change, babies who died after the sixth month of pregnancy would be registered to the so-called “Abortion Creatures File,” which does not name them or identify their parents.
Noelia Sánchez, who lost her baby during the 31st week of her pregnancy, called the change “a great achievement for families.”
But a number of feminist organizations cautioned that the legislation marks the first step toward recognizing the demands of anti-abortion groups. Although the changes do not impact the current right to abortion, advocates said that registering stillbirths and giving the fetus an identity is equating the fetus with the same status as a born person under the law.
Sánchez, however, countered that the law is not “a step backward,” adding that the measure could give her and other families “emotional peace.”
Recent statistics show that one in four pregnancies does not result in a live birth.