The ban on the sale of contraceptives was lifted in 1978, but no steps were taken to ensure that they were used safely or effectively.Schools offered no sex education courses, and family planning centers existed only where local authorities were willing to pay for them.Marches after April's verdict brought tens of thousands of protesters into the streets.Spain Table of Contents After the restoration of democracy, the changes in everyday Spanish life were as radical as the political transformation.Despite these attention-getting changes in public attitudes, however, Spanish government policy for some years remained quite distant from social practice in two important areas related to private sexual behavior, contraception and abortion.
Illegal abortions were fairly commonplace in Spain even under the dictatorship.
To some extent, these changes were due to the rural exodus that had uprooted hundreds of thousands of Spaniards and had brought them into new urban social settings.
In the 1960s and the early 1970s, however, two other contacts were also important: the flow of European tourists to "sunny Spain" and the migration of Spain's workers to jobs in France, Switzerland, and West Germany.
By the 1960s, however, social values were changing faster than the law, inevitably creating tension between legal codes and reality.
Even the church had begun to move away from its more conservative positions by the latter part of the decade.