New Spanish government to roll back abortion legislation for first time in history
MADRID, January 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Spain’s new government, the moderately conservative People’s Party, has announced that it will seek to reform the nation’s abortion law, which permits abortion on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and allows minors to obtain the deadly procedure without the permission of their parents.
According to Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, the previous legislation was approved “without consensus and with the unfavorable opinion of the agencies that were consulted.”
Although the extent of the reform envisioned is not yet clear, Ruiz-Gallardon raised hopes among pro-lifers of a major rollback by stating that changes would be based on the jurisprudence of the nation’s Constitutional Tribunal, which would favor the restoration of greater restrictions on the killing of the unborn.
The news of the new initiative was greeted with cautious optimism by Spain’s largest pro-life organization, Right to Life (Derecho a Vivir).
“Although the objective of Right to Life is the absolute eradication of abortion, we must appreciate the fact that, for the first time, abortion legislation might be changed to make it more, and not less, restrictive,” the organization stated in a release through its affiliate Hazte Oir (Make Yourself Heard).
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The new initiative is “good news” because “it seeks to restore parental authority, which is violated by the current law,” wrote Gador Joya, Coordinator of Right to Life. However, he added, “the proposal is still very vague, so we will be very attentive to what happens, because we are not renouncing our fundamental objective, which is the complete elimination of abortion.”
“The reference to the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal can only be understood in one sense,” said Joya, nothing that it would refer to the restoration of the previous, more restrictive law, which required medical reasons to be given for abortions.
The current abortion law was passed by the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) in 2010 in response to a national scandal involving Spain’s “abortion mogul,” Carlos Morin, who was arrested for performing abortions up to the third trimester for manufactured medical reasons.
In response to the scandal, instead of enforcing the existing law the PSOE eliminated the necessity of a certified medical condition for an abortion for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and allowed minors as young as 16 to obtain abortions without their parent’s consent. The legislation sparked outrage in broad sectors of society and became a campaign issue for the People’s Party in the following elections.
Mariano Rajoy, the new prime minister, has promised to reform the existing law, although he has not specified the extent of such a reform.