MADRID, Spain, July 25, 2012 ( – Spain’s justice minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, has announced that upcoming legislation reform of the country’s laws governing abortions will eliminate fetal deformity as a basis for killing the unborn.

The legislation, which would eliminate abortion-on-demand during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy as established by the previous administration, would return to a “law of conditions,” under which abortion would not be penalized in certain specified cases, Ruiz-Gallardón told the Spanish publication La Razón.

However, Spain would not renew the old law in its entirety, said the justice minister, “because experience shows us that some of these aspects must be revised.” Asked which ones, he responded: “I anticipate one. I do not understand why the unborn are unprotected, permitting them to be aborted, because of the fact that they have some kind of handicap or deformity.”

“It seems to me to be ethically inconceivable we have lived so long with this legislation, and I think that the same level of protection that is given to an unborn child without any type of handicap or deformity should be given to those that are verified as lacking some of the abilities that other unborn children have,” added Ruiz-Gallardón.

The minister, who has been criticized for not acting to fulfill the People’s Party campaign promise to reform the abortion law, said that he anticipated introducing a bill on the matter by the end of the year.

According to statistics published by La Razon, 90% of handicapped or deformed children in Spain are killed in their mothers’ wombs,  a total of over 16,000 over the last five years.

While Spain’s socialist left decried the proposed reform, an advocacy group for children with Down syndrome, Down Spain, hailed the proposal as a step towards recognizing the rights of the handicapped.

The organization stated “its satisfaction over the declarations made yesterday by the minister of justice,” opining that by such a measure “a true social change will be achieved because, for the first time, the lives of everyone in equality of conditions will be made possible.”

Ruiz-Gallardón, who has played the role of gadfly within the People’s Party in the past, in this case received the unequivocal support of the party’s current leader, Carlos Floriano.

Calling Ruiz-Gallardón’s statements “absolutely impeccable,” Floriano added that “we are betting on the defense of the rights of the weakest, so what the minister said coincides with the ethical and political convictions and principles of the People’s Party.”