Fiona Govan is an English journalist working for The Telegraph and collaborating with many other media in Europe, she has written an article about the new abortion law which is going to be approved by the Popular party in some months and is going to make Spain travel 30 years back in History. As she explains in her article, Spain’s conservative government has agreed to ban women from opting freely for abortions, outraging pro-choice campaigners who say the move will take the country back to the 1980s. Of course she is not the only one alarmed by this phenomenon, hundreds of journalists from every corner in Europe are warning the society about the danger this new law will have for Spanish women.
She believes that this measure has been taken by the government under pressure of the Catholic Church and with the support of some members of the Government who are extremely religious and conservative. She clarifies how the draft bill approved by the cabinet on Friday will ensure that abortion is only allowed in the case of rape, serious fetal deformity or if the pregnancy presents a grave mental or physical health risk to the mother. “This was in our electoral program,” Mr Rajoy told reporters yesterday in Brussels, where he was attending an EU summit. But she also claims that it is known by everyone that PP had promised in its manifesto for the elections in 2011 that they will apply the 2010 law on this issue, which said that abortion without restrictions was permitted until the 14th week of pregnancy.
Many journalists and experts think that the impact of this new legislation will be hard to avoid, given it will make abortion, as it was prior to 1985 in Spain, an offense – even if the PP insists to emphasize that women who abort will not be punished (every expert speaking about this does not agree with this, of course). Doctors, though, carrying out abortions considered illegal face up to three years in prison.
A huge part of Spanish society is roughly against this new law, and they have shown their opposition in the last days with a lot of demonstrations in the streets of the capital, Madrid and in many other cities as Bilbao, Barcelona or Málaga. Three protesters were arrested last Friday when hundreds gathered outside government buildings in Madrid and burnt an effigy of Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, who as it has already been said, is masterminding this law. All of the principal opposition parties have condemned the proposed new legislation. The Socialist Party’s spokeswoman Elena Valenciano stated: “The law is unnecessary, cynical and unfair because it damages women’s autonomy.” Some claimed the new law, which is likely to pass as the conservative Popular Party have a clear majority in parliament, would lead to “abortion tourism” with women forced to travel abroad for termination or risk their health in illegal clinics. “The changes represent a reversal of our right to decide, which will take us back to another era”, said Feminist Coordinator, an umbrella organization for women’s rights groups, in a statement.
As Rafael J. Alvarez explains in his article, PSOE party is asking for help to the European Union in order to declare nule this law. They are trying to convince European government that this law will create enormous problems for Spanish women.
– Alasdair Foteringham (December 2013),”New hardline abortion law prompts protest across Spain” http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/new-hardline-abortion-law-prompts-protests-across-spain-9020190.html. Retrieved on December 2013
– Maria R. Sahuquillo / Fernando Garea (May 2013) “Abortion: a trip back in time” http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/05/08/inenglish/1368013670_006955.html. Retrieved on December 2013
– Rafael J. Alvarez (December 2013) “El PSOE inicia hoy una “llamada de socorro europea” antiley del aborto” http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2013/12/26/52bb53a0268e3ea8648b458e.html. Retrieved on December 2013
– Fiona Govan (December 2013), “ Spain approves new restrictive abortion law” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/10531811/Spain-approves-new-restrictive-abortion-law.html. Retrieved on December 2013