The San Juan Daily Star
Coalition criticizes bill restricting minors from having access to abortions
By The Star Staff
The Coalition of Pregnancy Termination Clinics in Puerto Rico criticized Tuesday legislation restricting abortion access to minor women as it defended the right to an abortion.
The Coalition of Pregnancy Termination Clinics in Puerto Rico reaffirmed on Monday the constitutional right to abortion on the island and criticized Senate Bill 495 which would restrict access to abortion for minors.
“We understand that the bill is unconstitutional because it seeks to limit minors from having access to abortions, seeking to shelter itself in a protectionist vision that, based on our experience, is wrong,” said Yari Vale, a physician and spokesperson of the group, in written statements.
The coalition held that the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization does not change abortion regulations in Puerto Rico. The right to an abortion is constitutionally guaranteed and does not depend on federal constitutional law.
“It is important to note that the state established a law to guarantee access to pre- and post-natal care for minors, through the Law on Medical Services for Pregnant Women,” added Vale.
Senate Project 495 seeks to establish the “Law to require the intervention of at least one of the parents who holds parental authority or the legal guardianship of a minor under 18 years of age at the time of consenting to an abortion in Puerto Rico.”
During a hearing in the Senate, Alberto De La Vega Pujols, associate professor at the University Hospital, opposed the measure, arguing that it would limit access to medical services for the population that needs them most. “This law limits access to medical services to a population that needs it most. It is discriminatory in many ways and offers no demonstrable medical benefit,” he said.
Senator Joanne Rodríguez Veve, chairwoman of the Life and Family Affairs Committee, highlighted the need to continue the dialogue and seek agreements to ensure the protocols in private abortion clinics protect women.