Spain Pro-Life Advocates Upset New Abortion Law Going Info Effect Now

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 6, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Spain Pro-Life Advocates Upset New Abortion Law Going Info Effect Now

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 6
, 2010

Madrid, Spain ( — Spanish pro-life advocates are upset that a new law went into effect Monday that expands abortions and provides no parental consent for teenagers wanting abortions.

Under the law, abortions are allowed for any reason to 14 weeks, and up to 22 weeks if an abortion practitioner certifies a serious threat to the health of the mother, or says the unborn child is disabled.

Beyond 22 weeks, abortions are only allowed in serious cases of fetal disability and in cases where the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life.

Meanwhile, the head of the organization Professionals for Ethics, Jaime Urcelay, is also criticizing the law, according to CNA.

“The first to be affected is the child whose life will be taken. But in addition, many women feel compelled either directly or indirectly to have an abortion for economic or professional reasons or out of pressure from family members or society,” he said

Urcelay added that the law poses problems for medical workers who do not want to be involved in abortions.

“Everything indicates that a registry of doctors who object to abortion, a sort of ‘black list,’ will be compiled, which in reality is threat to those who object,” he said.

The Supreme Court in Spain is examining a lawsuit filed by the center-right Popular Party to prevent a new pro-abortion law from taking effect, but the law is going into place now. The court must decide whether to suspend the law pending the case.

Sandra Moneo, a Popular Party member of parliament, says the law "violates the balance between the rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn," according to Canadian Press.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday he is confident the law would be upheld as constitutional.

The Spanish daily newspaper El Pais indicates the Socialist government has sought go against the lawsuit by introducing a change to the law.

The change would have minors accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to the abortion center but also allows the abortion center to do the abortion if a psychologist or social worker believes the teen has reason to be concerned about telling her parents about the potential abortion. Pro-life advocates worry that will essentially allow abortions without parental involvement to continue.

In its lawsuit,the party is citing a 1985 ruling from the same court saying the so-called abortion right can’t take precedence over the right to life of unborn children, except in certain cases such as rape and incest.

Popular Party lawmaker Sandra Moneo said that establishing a time period of unlimited abortions "violates the balance between the rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn."

The party also argues that letting minor teenagers have abortions without parental consent violates the rights of parents.

Ignacio Arsuaga, president of (Make Yourself Heard), said even the current law is pro-abortion but this one goes further.

Arsuaga said during a rally of tens of thousands of people in opposition to the new law, "We sadly note that even under the current law, in 2008, abortion was the number-one cause of death in Spain, with more than 120,000 abortions taking place in the country that year — more than double the number in 1996 (51,000)."

"All of this, while Spain faces the social and economic challenges of having one of the lowest birthrates in the world (as low as the birthrate in Greece)," Arsuaga added.

The new bill received automatic approval when a majority of senators rejected three proposals by conservative parties to veto it, and then rejected 88 amendments to water it down.

Abortion was officially allowed in 1985 but only for cases of rape or when a woman’s life or health is in danger.

Spanish abortion centers had been misusing the health exception to essentially allow any abortions, including late-term abortions, but the new law makes it so they no longer have to worry about running afoul of the law.


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