NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?

Catalonia and 4 other Autonomous Communities oppose the Spanish Government's abortion reform

The governments of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Asturias and the Canaries have spoken out against the Spanish Executive's draft bill on the Protection of the Life of the Unborn and the Rights of the Pregnant Woman, presented in December 2013. This legislative reform, which still has to be approved in Parliament, aims to restrict the right of abortion only to cases of rape, incest or when the mother´s health is at serious risk. The reform of the People's Party (PP) is far more conservative than the previous laws from 2010 and 1985. It has raised a paramount opposition throughout Spanish society and also at European level. Catalonia and the 4 other Autonomous Communities that are not run by the PP presented this week a formal request to discuss this reform, as the Spanish Executive rejects talking about it with other parties and regional governments.

SHARE

23 July 2014 05:19 PM

by

ACN / Neringa Sinkeviciute

Barcelona (ACN).- The governments of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Asturias and the Canaries demanded the withdrawal of the Spanish Executive's draft bill on the Protection of the Life of the Unborn and the Rights of the Pregnant Woman, presented on the 20th of December 2013. This legislative reform, which still has to be approved in Parliament, aims to restrict the right of abortion only to cases of rape, incest or when the mother´s health is at serious risk. The reform of the People's Party (PP) is far more conservative than the previous laws from 2010 and 1985. It has raised a paramount opposition throughout Spanish society and also at European level.


As reported by the Catalan Institute for Women, Catalonia and the 4 other Autonomous Communities that are not run by the PP, presented this week a formal request to discuss this reform, as the Spanish Executive rejects talking about it with other parties and regional governments. The Spanish Government refused to include the reform in the agenda during the question and answer session of the meeting of the Sectorial Conference on Equality, organised by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality in Madrid. The 5 Autonomies considered that this conference was the obvious forum to debate the draft bill.

The 5 Autonomous Communities opposed to the draft bill (Catalonia, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Asturias and the Canaries) are the only ones which are not run by the People's Party, which also runs the Spanish Government and holds an absolute majority in the Spanish Parliament. The 5 regional governments were represented by Montse Gatell, President of the Catalan Institute for Women; Izaskun Landaida,  Director of Emakunde-Basque Institute for Women; Francisco Hernández Spinola, Minister for Presidency, Justice and Equality of the Canary Islands Government; Elena Máñez Rodriguez, Director of the Canaries' Institute of Equality; Guillermo Martinez, Asturias' Minister for Presidency; Carmen Sanjurjo González, Director of the Asturian Women's Institute; and Silvia Oñate, Director of the Andalusian Women's Institute (AMI).

Controversial legislation

The Spanish Government is on its way to approve one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe. Ever since 20th December 2013, when the polemic draft bill was proposed by the governing conservative People's Party (PP) and the Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, opposition and protests against the reform have been growing in the streets and at institutional level. For instance, the Catalan Parliament approved a motion against it.

The draft bill bans abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the pregnancy represents a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman, which has to be validated by a medical committee. However, abortion will not be authorised by a single doctor, neither in cases of foetal malformations or under the woman's request in the early weeks of pregnancy (which was the main reform in the 2010 law).

Debate that has transcended Spain´s borders

The legislation prompted controversy of the opposition Socialist Party and demonstrations of pro-choice and feminist groups in Spain and in other European countries. They warned the measure would send women into dangerous private backstreet clinics for abortions. Furthermore, protests have even reached the European Parliament, where a group of MEPs showed banners against such a reform. In European Union, only Malta has a total ban on abortion.

SHARE

  • A protest for the Spanish Government's abortion reform in Lleida, last June (by ACN)

  • A protest for the Spanish Government's abortion reform in Lleida, last June (by ACN)