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EUROPE > Spanish government plans to ban abortion

MADRID - Reuters

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Women with slogans written on their bodies reading ‘Yes to life, but I choose’ and ‘Priests and judges out of my body’ take part in an anti-abortion protest in Madrid on July 29.

Women with slogans written on their bodies reading ‘Yes to life, but I choose’ and ‘Priests and judges out of my body’ take part in an anti-abortion protest in Madrid on July 29.

Spain’s conservative government plans to ban abortions, overturning a two-year-old law allowing terminations on demand, a justice ministry source told Reuters, in a move likely to galvanize support among its core voters.

The previous Socialist government passed a law in 2010 allowing women to have a termination up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy or up to 22 weeks in cases of severe abnormalities, in line with most European countries. The ruling People’s Party, which came to power in December, is expected to present a bill which scraps that law in October, based on the recommendations of a committee of experts, the source said. Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon last month made clear his opposition to the current abortion law.

“I can’t understand how protection is removed from the fetus, permitting abortion, merely because it has some kind of disability or malformation,” he said in an interview with right-wing newspaper La Razon. A spokesman for the justice ministry said there had been no law change proposed as yet. Any move would keep a campaign promise made by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to overturn the 2010 law of the government of then Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Similar protests in Turkey

Pro-abortion groups and the opposition Socialists said a change in the law would push Spanish society back decades to the period of the right-wing dictatorship of Francisco Franco when abortion was banned. Anti-abortion activists welcomed the government’s proposed changes and some said they hoped Spain would eventually ban abortion in all circumstances, including cases of rape.

Pro-abortion protests began in Turkey after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on May 30 that he had delivered instructions to the Cabinet to begin drafting new legislation on abortion, in the wake of his comments equating the practice with murder.

August/10/2012

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