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Spain: the government wishes to penalise abortion even further

Publié le : 10 May 2013

 In Spain, the government “has decided to revive a debate that seemed to be settled: the right to abortion” . On 28 April 2013, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, the Minister for Justice and former mayor of Madrid, stated in the press that he wishes to “penalise abortion further even in the most tragic cases,” notably in “the case of the ‘serious malformation’ of the foetus.” So far, no bill has been submitted to Parliament. The present law on abortion, which came into force in 2010 during the Zapatero government, “permits abortion up to the fourteenth week of gestation.” The reform project of the government of Mariano Rajoy “relaunches a debate that public opinion (…) thought was closed.”  

According to Elena Valenciano, MP and deputy leader of the Spanish Workers’ Socialist Party (PSOE), the consequences of this proposed “step backwards” are obvious: “women (who can afford it) will go to other countries to abort if they want to. The others (who cannot afford it) will abort also, but in the worst conditions.” The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, has protested “against the slowness of the government in adopting the new law.” Gador Joya, spokesman of the association Derecho a Vivir (Right to Life), has also expressed his regrets: “If this government really believed what it says, with the absolute majority that it holds, the new law ought to have been passed ages ago.” The PSOE believes that “these pronouncements demonstrate the interference of the Church in politics and are excessive.” It concludes that it will “call for the abrogation of the agreements with the Holy See if a new law on abortion should be passed.”

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