Spain Sees Hundreds of Thousands Rally Against Abortion at Catholic Event
by Steven Ertelt
December 29, 2008
Madrid, Spain (LifeNews.com) — The Socialist government of Spain wants to expand the nation’s abortion laws, which already allow virtual abortion on demand. Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards responded on Sunday at a Catholic rally in the nation’s capital with an address by Pope Benedict XVI.
The rally in Madrid saw a massive gathering of people in the event deigned to promote pro-life values in the face of the government’s desire to expand abortions.
Pope Benedict XVI talked with the participants via a live video feed from The Vatican and said in his prayer that the residents of Spain shouldn’t allow their leaders to distort the sanctity of human life.
"Dear families, don’t allow love, the opening to life and the incomparable links that unite our family to become distorted," the pope said.
The Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, also spoke at the rally and, according to an AFP report, spoke out against "the shocking cruelty" of abortion, calling on families to overcome the "culture of death."
Prime Minister Jose’ Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been backing efforts to overturn the law that requires a valid mental health reason for a woman to be allowed to have a late-term abortion.
Though the law has been flouted by abortion centers and abortions have been routinely done throughout pregnancy, Zapatero wants the statute removed.
A report earlier this month showed the number of abortions in Spain has more than doubled over the last ten years. Spain has become an abortion capital ever since the Catholic nation’s parliament legalized abortion in 1985.
There were 53,847 abortions done in Spain in 1998 but there were 112,138 last year, according to the Spanish health ministry. The figures also show that abortions increased more than 10 percent from 2006 to 2007.
In Spain, abortion is only legal in case the pregnancy supposedly is a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman (despite the fact abortions typically cause medical and mental health issues).
Officials in Spain have started to crack down on some abortion centers that were completing patient intake forms with that reason checked before women arrived for their abortions.
The Institute for Family Policy released a report last year showing an increase in the number of abortions of 90.5 percent. That puts Spain third, behind Belgium and Holland, with the greatest increase in the abortion rate during that time.
If this trend continues, in 2010 one out of every five pregnancies (125,000 annually) will end in abortion, IFP president Eduardo Hertfelder said in the report.
Some 266 children are not born each day in Spain because of abortion, resulting in one abortion taking place every 5.4 minutes.
The Ministry of Health must drastically re-orient its health and sexuality policies once their ineffectiveness has been made clear in order to stop or lessen this significant increase of abortions, which results in 266 deaths by abortion each day in Spain, making it the leading cause of mortality in Spain, Hertfelder added.
In October the pro-abortion group Women on Waves sent its abortion boat to Spain, though it normally targets countries with pro-life laws.
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