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Spain to boost confidentiality guarantees for women having abortion

Spain's Socialist government is to rush through legislation to strengthen confidentiality for women who have had abortions, and has pledged to further improve the abortion law if re-elected next month. "The government is not going to permit infringements of the rights of any woman who has had to, or will have to, face the painful decision of interrupting a pregnancy," Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. Fernandez de la Vega said the bill - which the government wants parliament to pass before the elections - would limit local government powers to inspect clinics and provide greater confidentiality for patients' records and medical personnel. Police raided and shut down private abortion clinics in Barcelona and Madrid in November and December, acting on complaints from pro-life, church-affiliated groups, which claimed the facilities were carrying out illegal abortions.