NRL News

Huge Rally in Madrid supports proposed new pro-life Spanish law

by | Dec 30, 2013


By Dave Andrusko

Spainrally3reTens of thousands of pro-life Spaniards rallied in central Madrid at an open-air Roman Catholic mass Sunday where they showed enthusiastic support for the government’s moves aimed at rolling back the abortion “reforms” initiated by the previous government.

Archbishop Antonio Rouco Varela led the outdoor service in Colon square and said “the gift of life” should be considered sacred and not tampered with, the AFP news service reported.

Amidst chants of “Hallelujah,” the “faithful in Madrid sang hymns and waved banners from regions across Spain and other nations including France and Italy,” according to news accounts.

In 2010 the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero legalized abortion through the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and up to 22 weeks if the baby is found to have “serious deformations.” The law also allowed 16- and 17-year old minors to have abortions without parental consent.

Archbishop Antonio Rouco Varela delivers a speech, during a mass, in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.  The Associated Press

Archbishop Antonio Rouco Varela delivers a speech, during a mass, in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.
The Associated Press

But on December 20, ministers at a cabinet meeting adopted a draft bill that will allow abortion only in the case of rape or when there is a serious mental or physical health risk to the mother. Parliament must still approve the bill, but Prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party’s has a large majority.

“Women seeking abortions will need approval from two doctors who are not performing the procedure and doctors can decline to perform an abortion for reasons of conscience,” according to the Associated Press’ Ciaran Giles and Harold Heckle. “The likelihood of a child being born with disabilities will not be an acceptable justification for abortion.”

As NRL News reported in 2011 (“Spain’s Opposition Party, Favored to Win in November, Pledges to Modify Country’s Liberal Abortion Policy”), as part of the party’s electoral program published by the Spanish media just prior to the election, the Popular Party said, “We will change the current legislation model relating to abortion in order to reinforce the protection of the right to life as well as female minors.” The text went on to say, “Motherhood must be protected and supported. We will defend a law protecting motherhood with measures helping pregnant women, in particular those in difficult situations.”

Francisca Garcia of the Association of Accredited Abortion Clinics, said that under the new legislation about 100,000 of the 118,000 abortions carried out last year would be illegal.

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Categories: International
Tags: rally Spain