Spain Government Pushes Pro-Life Bill for New Abortion Limits

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 20, 2013   |   1:08PM   |   Madrid, Spain

The new Spanish government promised it would roll back some of the pro-abortion laws the previous government put in place and the government today made good on that promise. The current law allowed for virtually unlimited abortions up to 14 weeks in pregnancy and allows almost unlimited abortions up to 22 weeks.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government presented the pro-life proposal at Friday’s cabinet meeting, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said. After promising in its 2011 election campaign to “reinforce protection of the right to life,” Rajoy’s government had repeatedly postponed changes to the legislation.

In April 2013, the head of Spain’s Catholic Church, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, called for an “urgent reform” of the 2010 law, which he said had “led to a rise in the number of abortions to terrifying levels.”

The national health ministry said however that 118,359 abortions were carried out in Spain in 2011, up from 113,031 the previous year.

The Guardian newspaper has more on the measure the government is pushing that still has to get through Parliament, but the ruling government is almost certain to make that happen.

Spain’s conservative government has approved an abortion law that rolls back current legislation permitting the procedure without restrictions until the 14th week.

Justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallard√≥n said on Friday that abortion will only be allowed in the case of rape or when there is a serious mental or physical health risk to the mother. Accredited fetal deformities that would endanger a child’s life if born will also be accepted.

He said 16- and 17-year-olds will once again have to obtain permission from their parents to have an abortion.

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The bill, which must be approved by parliament, has been vigorously opposed by most opposition parties and women’s groups across the country.

Gallardon’s ruling Popular party has always sided heavily with the Catholic church on moral and social issues.