01 Oct Spain alters abortion laws to provide abortions for 16 year old girls
Spain’s socialist government has released plans to liberalize the country’s abortion laws against public sentiment. The proposed alterations, approved by the cabinet, would make abortion available on demand for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and for up to 22 weeks if the mother’s health is endangered or the fetus deformed. The legislation would also allow girls as young as 16 to obtain an abortion without parental consent.
Needless to say, the conservative Popular Party and the Catholic Church are opposing the changes.
The existing abortion laws are currently some of the most restrictive in Europe. The laws, passed in 1985, allow abortion under only three circumstances: after a rape, in the case of genetic defects, and when the mother’s health is at risk.
Many defend the enormous changes arguing that, in practice, many Spanish women are already able to obtain abortions under current laws simply by claiming the pregnancy is endangering their mental health.
The pro-life community is clearly in opposition to such changes. The Popular Party plans on challenging the new laws in the Constitutional Court, and a coalition of Catholic groups, the Spanish Family Forum, has called on its followers to join in a demonstration on October 17 in Madrid.
Conservative groups argue that the new laws go against public sentiment and will encourage young people to view abortion as a form of contraception, a concern with sufficient evidence to support. According to an opinion poll conducted last June 64 per cent of the public is opposed to the new laws allowing 16 year old girls to obtain abortions without parental consent.
This is the latest in a series of clashes between conservative parties in the country and the socialist government. Earlier in his term, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez legalized same-sex marriage and instituted fast-track divorce, radical changes in a country that still predominantly identifies itself as Catholic.
This is just another example of a leftist agenda overriding the cultural and moral foundations of a society in the pursuit of ‘women’s rights.’