Spanish Feminists Seek to Lower Age of Consent for Abortions to 13 Years

The Governmental Coordinator of Feminist Organizations has gathered 12,000 signatures on a petition demanding that the Spanish government depenalize unlimited abortion on demand, provide abortions in public hospitals, and lower the age of consent for abortion to 13 years.

"We want the text [of the law] of the government not to be so restrictive, so that we truly have one of the most advanced norms in Europe like the socialist parliamentarians say," said Yoland Iglesias, a spokesman for the group.

The socialist government is proposing a new law that will depenalize abortion on demand during the first 14 weeks, but will leave criminal penalties in place for abortions after the 14th week that do not fall under an exception (such as rape or fetal deformity).

The feminists’ demands clash starkly with the wishes of a majority of Spaniards, who are opposed even to the socialist government’s proposal to lower the age of consent to 16, let alone 13, according to a recent poll .

Another poll , taken two weeks earlier indicated that a plurality of Spanish women are also opposed to removing existing criminal penalties for abortion.

Although all abortion is technically illegal in Spain, there is currently no criminal penalty for abortions carried out under certain conditions, including a threat to the life or health of the mother, fetal deformity, and rape.

Because abortion remains illegal in Spain, it is not carried out in public hospitals.

In contrast to the pro-abortion feminists, a group of pro-life women are gathering signatures for their own "Manifesto of Women Against Abortion."

"Abortion is ethically and legally unacceptable, not only because it annihilates a defenseless human being, but because it involves violence inflicted on the dignity of the woman," the Manifesto states. "With this manifesto we expressly renounce the supposed ‘right to abortion’ that others endeavor to achieve for us."

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