The Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) is defending its plans to loosen the nation’s already liberal abortion laws, claiming that it won’t increase the number of abortions.”It’s false that legislation influences the increase or decrease in the number of interruptions (of pregnancy),” said spokesman Carmen Monton in a press conference Saturday.
Monton further claimed that there was a consensus among witnesses who had testified before the congressional subcommittee handling the case in favor of a reform of the existing law.
Sandra Moneo, spokesman for the opposition People’s Party, said that she was “surprised” at talk of a “consensus” for reforming the law, and added that the subcommittee hearings on the issue didn’t reflect that.
“It seems that they have attended a subcommittee completely different from the one the rest of the representatives have been going to,” she said.
“What has been made clear in the subcommittee is that abortion is a tremendous drama for the woman and it is a drama in which it is necessary to put on the table all social and economic means for preventing a situation in which women in this country are threatened by abortion.”
“What has been requested in this subcommittee, and in this the guests (of the committee) of every kind have agreed, is an improved juridical certitude in relation to the current execution of the law and also, they have been generally in agreement, with exceptions as is logical, that abortion is bad for the woman and has after effects.”
Over the past year controversy has swirled around Spain’s permissive abortion laws, which only require a diagnosis of danger to the “psychological” well being of the mother in order to justify an abortion up to the ninth month of gestation. Other European countries that allow abortion typically prohibit it after 22-24 weeks, except when the mother’s physical health is threatened.
The “danger to physical or psychological health” rationale has been exploited by Spanish abortuaries, which pay psychologists to write easy diagnoses for their clients. Several clinics have been shut down after undercover media stories revealed the practice, as well as the use of meat grinders to destroy the bodies of late term aborted babies and their disposal in the sewage system (see LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/dec/07121401.html).
Although the Spanish public was outraged at the revelations, the PSOE is addressing the problem by proposing to loosen restrictions further, rather than enforcing existing restrictions.
PSOE representatives in the nation’s parliament are seeking to eliminate criminal penalties for all abortions up to the 12th or even 14th week of pregnancy. The law currently allows such abortions only in the case of danger to the mother’s physical or psychological health, rape, or fetal deformity cases, and imposes time limits on the latter two conditions.
“With this scenario that the PSOE is painting, it is evident that what we denounced before the beginning of this subcommittee is now happening. … the PSOE has made a decision — it wants to reform the current law at all costs,” said Moneo.
“What surprises us is that the objective of the PSOE, of this government, is to avoid undesired pregnancies, which is acceptable, but not to reduce the number of abortions,” she added.
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Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Spanish Parliament Urged not to Loosen Abortion Law
Spanish Socialists Seek to Further Loosen already Liberal Abortion Law
Spanish Socialist Leadership Urges Rethinking of Abortion Policy as Scandal Grows
Spanish Pro-Life Activists Seek New Investigations of Abortionists Following Arrests
Full Abortions Shown On Spanish Television – First In History