Spaniards take to the streets in protest over new abortion laws

 

Women carry placards saying ‘I decide’ during the protests
Women carry placards saying ‘I decide’ during the protests

Thousands of protesters marched through central Madrid and other major cities in Spain yesterday in the latest wave of demonstrations against controversial proposed reforms of the country's abortion laws.

Yesterday's International Women's Day gave fresh impetus to the protests against changes to abortion laws. Some 80 per cent of Spaniards are opposed to any changes to abortion laws, according to polls.

The new legislation would mean abortion will no longer be a right and, instead, limits terminations to victims of rape or to cases where two doctors recognise the woman's mental or physical health is at risk. The reform is so controversial it is rumoured to be causing splits inside the ruling Partido Popular (PP) party, with hundreds of town councils, some run by the PP, already expressing their opposition to it.

Earlier last week, Spain's Catholic church waded into the debate. The Bishop of Alcala de Henares, Juan Antonio Reig Pla, described abortion as "a silent holocaust" and claimed that there had been "two million abortions, many more deaths than in the civil war", since Spain's first pro-choice legislation was introduced in 1985.

On Friday, a joint manifesto issued by 110 European and South American scientific institutions warned that 90 per cent of abortions currently carried out in Spain would be illegal under the new legislation.

In the Canary Islands on Wednesday, 300 pro-choice activists made a collective request in Tenerife cathedral that they be excommunicated for supporting abortion.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in