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By The Circle of Moms Editors - May 24, 2012
In a case unlike any we've yet seen, a doctor has been ordered to pay for the support of a child who was born after a failed abortion attempt sought by the mother.
An unnamed woman in Spain sought to terminate her pregnancy at a clinic in April 2010 when she was eight weeks pregnant. Unbeknownst to her or her doctor at the time, the abortion was unsuccessful. Thinking she had become pregnant again, the woman went back to the clinic three months later, where she was informed that she was actually five months pregnant and that the abortion had failed. The woman was refused another abortion because she was farther along than Spain's legal time limit of 14 weeks. The only compensation she was offered was a refund of the fees she'd paid for the failed abortion.
The woman has since given birth to a healthy baby boy. A judge has recently ordered the gynecologist and the private clinic to pay the mother 150,000 euros ($190,000) in "moral damages" for their negligence and a monthly maintenance of 978 euros ($1,230) until the boy reaches his 26th birthday.
The woman, whose identity has been kept secret, spoke through her lawyer of her happiness at the sentence and how she had no regrets about having the child.
"I'm fine now and have accepted things, I haven't any other choice," she said.
"When the day comes for me to explain to my son what happened I will tell him hoping he understands.
"I didn't want him when I went to have an abortion but that's not the case now."
Her lawyer Eva Munar, admitting the sentence was a legal first in Spain, added: "It's a fair sentence for what is medical negligence."
The doctor will launch an appeal to have the sentence overturned.
Spain reformed its abortion laws under the previous socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2010. Under the new law, women have the right to choose an abortion on demand after up to 14 weeks of pregnancy in public hospitals.
Under previous legislation, abortion was illegal across Spain unless in the case of rape, serious deformity or if the woman's health was at risk.
More than 100,000 abortions were carried out annually under the old legislation, the vast majority in private clinics and under the justification that the pregnancy posed a "psychological risk" to the mother.
The relaxation of the laws was meant with fierce opposition from conservative elements within Spain and especially the Roman Catholic Church.
Spain's new conservative government of Mariano Rajoy, which came to power in December, has suggested it may overturn the reform - provoking a backlash from women's groups.