Andorra is one of the last States in Europe, with Malta, San Marino and the Vatican, to prohibit abortion, including in cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly and risk to the life of the woman. Women from Andorra access abortion either in Spain or France, or by unsafe or clandestine methods.
Laurence Gayte is a Deputy in France for Pyrénées-Orientales, which borders with Andorra, a member of President Macron’s party En Marche, and a member of the delegation on the rights of women in the National Assembly. She asked the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to clarify the government’s position on the criminalisation of abortion in Andorra. President Macron is a co-prince of the principality. Even giving patients information or the address of a clinic abroad is against the law, Dr Eric Sylvestre Dolsa told Agence France Presse, one of a few Andorran doctors openly backing legalisation, “no matter the reason” for ending the pregnancy.
For 28 September 2018, International Safe Abortion Day, women in Andorra “marched through the streets to demand the decriminalisation of abortion in their country and would like to know the position of France on this question”. The Spanish Bishop of Andorra, Urgell Mgr Joan-Enric Vives, is staunchly opposed to abortion and has threatened to abdicate if abortion is legalised, reported Elisa Muxella, head of Andorra’s Human Rights Institute. “The government is hiding behind this excuse, saying it would put our institutions in peril.”
The Vatican is also putting pressure on Andorra to stop abortion from being legalised. According to the Andorran press, Pope Francis phoned the head of government, Antoni Martí, to deliver a clear message – threatening to demand the abdication of the co-prince.
SOURCES: FranceBleu, 31 October 2018 ; FranceBleu, 8 November 2018
SEE ALSO: France24, 28 September 2018 ; Le Figaro, by AFP, 31 October 2018