Thousands march in Madrid against abortion limits

February 02, 2014 - 2:45:16 am

Thousands of people protest a government plan to limit abortions, in Madrid yesterday.

MADRID: Thousands of pro-choice campaigners converged on the Spanish capital yesterday to voice their opposition to a government plan to restrict access to abortion in the mainly Catholic country.

Demonstrators shouting slogans and carrying banners that read “it is my right, it is my life” crowded around a Madrid station to greet a “freedom train” of protesters from northern Spain.

Under pressure from the Catholic Church, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government announced on December 20 it would roll back a 2010 law that allows women to opt freely for abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The new law, yet to pass parliament where the ruling People’s Party enjoys an absolute majority, would allow abortion only in cases of rape or a threat to the physical or psychological health of the mother. The move has outraged pro-choice campaigners, who say the new legislation would roll back the decades in Spain, returning to conditions similar to those of a more restrictive 1985 law.

“I would never have imagined we would find ourselves back here, fighting for something we thought we had won,” said 57-year-old protestor Maria Pilar Sanchez.

“We don’t want to turn the clock back 40 years. Having an abortion used to be a crime in Spain. We don’t want to return to that.”AFP

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