By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MADRID, May 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Spain’s Council of Ministers has given its approval to a new law that will permit abortion on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, despite a poll indicating that 43% of Spanish women reject the change and only 34% support it.
The law must now be approved by legal experts in the government’s General Council of Judicial Authority and the Legal Council before passing to the Spanish Congress, where both chambers must approve it by majority vote before it can become law.
If approved, the new law will also allow teenagers as young as 16 years old to obtain abortions without their parent’s permission.
“It’s a radical and extremist bill,” says Ignacio Arsuaga, President of the national organization Right to Life. “There is no social demand for this reform.”
Spanish law currently allows abortions to take place only under certain conditions, which include a diagnosis of “grave” risk to the mother’s psychological health. That condition has become the basis for approximately 97% of Spain’s abortions, which have skyrocketed to well over 100,000 per year.
In 2007, television reporters and pro-life organizations revealed that abortion facilities were paying psychologists to produce the necessary mental health diagnoses for their abortions, including late term abortions that were documented by Intereconomia TV.
Although the more conservative People’s Party called for the abuses to be eliminated by effective law enforcement, the majority Socialist Worker’s Party has responded instead by proposing a new “law of periods,” allowing abortion on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
After that, abortions will be permitted only under conditions similar to those imposed by the current law, with ever more stringent requirements as the pregnancy progresses.
While Bibiana Aido, Spain’s Equality Minister, claims that the new law “gives more guarantees, is more balanced, more modern, and brings us closer to Europe,” a plurality of Spanish citizens apparently disagree with her positive assessment.
In recent months pro-life organizations have held massive rallies protesting the proposed legislation, including one in Madrid that exceeded 100,000 people. In addition, over one thousand scientists, doctors, and academics have signed a petition denouncing the reform.
In addition to the strong plurality of Spanish women who oppose the new law, a plurality of Spanish men also oppose it 39% to 38%.
Related LifeSiteNews coverage:
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
Spanish Abortion Clinics go on “Strike” to Protest “Persecution”
Full Abortions Shown On Spanish Television – First In History
Seven More Doctors Arrested by Spanish Police for Illegal Abortions
Late Term Abortionist Arrested by Spain’s Police