- Title: SPAIN: Anti-abortion protesters rally in Madrid
- Date: 23rd March 2014
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (MARCH 23, 2014) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING IN SOL SQUARE VARIOUS OF ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTERS GATHERING AT SQUARE PREGNANT PROTESTER PROTESTERS WRAPPED IN SPANISH FLAG CHANTING "GALLARDON MURDERED" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTER, MARA GARCIA, SAYING: "You can't force anyone to be a mother for the rest of her life but you can ask her to produce that child and give it to a family that desires a child. You can't kill anyone." PROTESTERS HOLDING A BANNER READING (Spanish): "BRAVE WOMEN DON'T ABORT" PROTESTERS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTER, MARIVI ALLUE, SAYING: "Death is never the way. The woman knows, when she is carrying a baby, that the baby is there, no matter what you are told. Eventually life wins, always. Even if you have many complications it is wonderful." PROTESTER DANCING PROTESTERS COLLECTING MONEY PROTEST IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 7th April 2014 13:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAD308LK9F7JLD6EUQFMOPONHWJ
- Story Text: Thousands of anti-abortion supporters took to Madrid's streets on Sunday (March 23) to back government plans to make it harder for women to get an abortion, restricting a law that had allowed the procedure on request within a 14 week term.
The proposed new rules will make Spain one of the most restrictive European countries on abortion and goes against the regional trend of greater ease of access, after Ireland legalized abortion under limited circumstances this year.
The draft law, presented in December 2013, allows abortion only in the case of rape or if the pregnancy poses a serious physical or mental health risk to the mother. It eliminates the option of abortion on request in the case of malformation of the foetus. In such a case women would also have to argue that the pregnancy poses a physical or mental health risk.
A large number of the demonstrators gathered on Sunday (March 23) said they see the draft as too permissive, and chanted slogans against the Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon.
Mara Garcia said if a woman does not desire a child she should give birth and then give it to a family.
"You can't force anyone to be a mother for the rest of her life but you can ask her to produce that child and give it to a family that desires a child. You can't kill anyone," she said.
The ruling People's Party (PP) has an absolute majority in parliament, where the bill is expected to pass easily.
The majority of European countries offer abortion on request, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with 88 percent allowing the termination of pregnancies if the foetus is thought to be impaired or in cases of rape or incest.
Protester Marivi Allue said she would ban abortion in all circumstances.
"Death is never the way. The woman knows, when she is carrying a baby, that the baby is there, no matter what you are told. Eventually life wins, always. Even if you have many complications it is wonderful," she said.
Abortion is illegal on any grounds in Malta and Andorra and severely limited in Poland.
The PP made reforming the abortion law an electoral promise in its 2011 campaign, and Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon is one of the more right-wing ministers who has often sided with the Catholic Church.
The move to restrict abortion will appeal to core PP supporters at a time when the government cannot carry out economic policies such as lowering taxes, as a result of its struggle to hit strict budget targets imposed by Brussels.
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