Spain's cabinet backs more liberal abortion law

15th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spain's cabinet gave preliminary approval to a bill that will liberalise the abortion law.

Madrid- Spain's cabinet Thursday gave preliminary approval to a bill to liberalise the abortion law, a measure that has sparked the ire of the Roman Catholic Church and prompted pro-life demonstrations.

Equality Minister Bibiana Aido said the new measure would allow abortions up to the fourteenth week of pregnancy, or up to 22 weeks under certain conditions.

"What this law is seeking is to protect the dignity of women," Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said in a joint news conference with Aido.

The bill would reform a 1985 abortion law that decriminalised abortion in 1985 but only for certain cases -- up to 12 weeks of pregnancy after a rape; up to 22 weeks in the case of malformation of the foetus; and at any point if the pregnancy represented a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman.

But the Roman Catholic Church, which has clashed with the government before gay marriage, has condemned the proposed law, and tens of thousands took to the streets of Madrid in March to demand its withdrawal.

The bill still needs to be examined by the judiciary before it goes to parliament to be passed.

AFP / Expatica

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