On Friday 20 December 2013, the feminist movement called for a concentration at 19:00 in front of the government buildings and headquarters of the PP [Partido Popular, conservative party] in 36 cities in the Spanish State to protest a regression in the country’s abortion legislation. A new law which violates the sexual and reproductive rights of women and the entire population was approved that morning by cabinet members of the People’s Party. A proposal for this law had been repeatedly touted by the Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, since 8 March 2012.
A 40 year legal setback
The reactionary law repeals the 2010 Law on Voluntary Pregnancy Termination and Sexual and Reproductive Health, returning to a ruling even more restrictive than the 1985 Law for the Partial Decriminalisation of Abortion. The new law does not allow for later-term abortions in case of fetal malformation. Also, women younger 18 years of age must seek permission from a parent or guardian — a requirement that had been eliminated in 2010 to protect the right to free choice of young people who may find themselves pressured or coerced by adults to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
Risks to public health
In addition to the feminist movement, medical and scientific organisations have pointed to the public health risks posed by restricting access to safe and legal abortion: six scientific associations in the Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration (SESPAS) have released a statement [in Spanish] in which they express their concern about the risk that the new law implies for women’s physical, psychological and social health throughout Spain.
Women decide, the State guarantees, the Churches respect and society supports!
Our bodies, our decision!
Birth control to prevent abortion, safe abortion to prevent death!
Additional information in Spanish: