By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

BARCELONA, May 27, 2009 ( – Martinez Sistach, the Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain, said in a recent interview that abortion and abortifacient contraception are attacks on human life, comparing them to the mass murder of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Commenting on the murder of unborn children inside their mothers' wombs, Sistach observed that “the Bible teaches us that man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God. To touch a man or a woman is to touch God. To kill a human being is to kill God.  Historically, we have seen barbarities like the Holocaust.”

Society, he said, “should respect human life however it is, because all of us have limitations.  If not, only some people could live, because we are in an egoistical and hedonistic society.”

Remarking on the proposal by the ruling Spanish Socialist Worker's Party to allow adolescents as young as 16 to have an abortion without their parents' knowledge or consent, Sistach said that “society should make laws that promote life,” and asked “how can someone have an abortion at 16 years of age without the consent of the parents, without them knowing?”

He also asked the Spanish government to act for the benefit of society, instead of merely pursuing votes. “I ask all politicians, who have a very noble and necessary task … not to think only about elections and votes.”

The comments, which were made during an interview with the Catalonian broadcaster Catalunya Informacio, were widely reported in Spain as an attack on the government's planned reform of the nation's abortion law. If passed it will allow abortion on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and dramatically lower the age of consent for the procedure.

The government is also proposing allowing the abortifiacient “morning after pill” to be sold in pharmacies without a prescription.

The proposals have sparked massive public protests, and a recent opinion poll indicated that a strong plurality of Spanish women and men are opposed to the new abortion legislation.  The more conservative People's Party is making it a major issue in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament.

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Spain's Council of Ministers Approves Liberal Abortion Law Despite Strong Public Opposition

One Thousand Scientists, Physicians, and Intellectuals Sign Manifesto against the Further Legalization of Abortion in Spain

Hundreds of Thousands March For Life In Spain

Spanish Socialists Seek to Further Loosen already Liberal Abortion Law