January 31, 2014

Protests against abortion reform in Spain

Through a series of international protests, women across the world stand together in solidarity against the recent proposals from Partido Popular to reform the abortion law in Spain. The new law would end a woman’s right to freely choose an abortion in the early stages of her pregnancy – a proposal that sparked outrage. More than a hundred thousand Spanish women, who now have the option of terminating their pregnancy, will be forced to resort to other solutions, thereby becoming exposed to unsafe and illegal procedures outside of their country.

A draft bill approved by the cabinet will ensure that abortion is only allowed in the case of rape, serious fetal deformity or if the pregnancy presents a grave mental or physical health risk to the mother, as reported on various media platforms – a juridical blow for women which sets their rights back to the days of dictatorship under Franco.

In the Netherlands, a coalition of Wij Vrouwen Eisen, Women on Waves, Choice for Youth and the CASA clinics organised a peaceful protest on February 1st 2014 in Amsterdam. The group gathered at noon (12 pm) at the Spanish Consulate, located at the Frederiksplein 34 in Amsterdam. At 12:30 pm, the participants walked to the CASA Clinic Amsterdam at the Sarphatistraat 620, to represent the travels that Spanish women will have to partake in when this law reform would force them to go elsewhere for an abortion. You can find more information on the CASA Clinics website.

Feminist organisations in Spain geared up El Tren de la Libertad (The Train of Freedom), departing from Asturias to Valladolid on January 31st, where they presented a protest letter to the congress demanding that the current law on abortion remains unchanged. El Tren de la Libertad has been extremely vocal in providing information about recent developments in the juridical process, and even announced their Manifest of Help. For more information, visit http://www.eltrendelalibertad.com/

Meanwhile, a similar protest called Treno della Libertà took place in Italy, from Rome to Palermo, calling upon Italian women to stand in solidarity with the women in Spain. More information can be found here. Earlier this week, two thousand people gathered at the Spanish Embassy in Brussels to show their protest against the law reform.

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