Marta (2020) Spain

Miscarrying pregnant woman denied care at hospital, forced to go to private clinic while bleeding heavily

When Spanish doctor Marta Vigara was 17 weeks pregnant in December 2020, her waters broke and she quickly realised the prognosis for her pregnancy was “very bad”.  A geriatric specialist working at Madrid’s Clinico San Carlos hospital, she immediately went to her colleagues in the gynaecology department to have a therapeutic abortion. But no doctor would do it on grounds there was still “a foetal heartbeat”, directing her to a private clinic instead.

“I arrived at the clinic bleeding, probably because of a detached placenta,” she said. Vigara later learnt that the entire gynaecology unit at Clinico San Carlos had declared themselves “conscientious objectors” against abortion. She also said “When they send you away [to a private clinic], you feel a bit stigmatised as if you’re doing something wrong. I felt very guilty and very miserable.”

Source:, In Spain, abortions legal but barriers remain