Last December, Spanish Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, proposed a draft bill aimed at restricting access to abortion. The bill has been on hold since then – it “still hasn’t been put to Parliament where conservatives have the majority“. A week ago, the Spanish daily newspaper, El Mundo, announced that the draft bill would not materialise (Gènéthique press review on September 15th, 2014).
Against this background, thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators held a procession in Madrid on Sunday, 21 September. They are accusing the government of “betraying them“: “I voted for them and they have betrayed me. Why are they putting the brakes on now? It’s worrying.“. Protesting mainly in front of the Ministry of Justice responsible for the draft law, demonstrators carried placards stating, “yes to life, no to abortion”, or “if they kill them, do not vote for them”. After the European elections in May, it could be “the turn of the municipal and regional governments in 2015 to put off the government and paralyse the project“.
Last Friday, the Government’s second in command, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, explained: “It is a complicated and socially sensitive law. […] The Government wants to work to get as broad a consensus as possible“.