Poll finds Spaniards split over abortion reform

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More Spaniards are against changes in the abortion law as more is known about the reforms.

Madrid – Spaniards are almost evenly split over a proposal to allow women as young as 16 to undergo an abortion without parental consent, a public opinion poll published Monday showed.
Forty-six percent are "totally" or "very much" against the change to Spain's existing abortion law, while 44 percent are "totally" or "very much" in favour, suggests the survey published in the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

The rest were undecided or refused to give an answer to the poll.

The Noxa survey of 1,000 people was carried out between 28 September and 1 October, after Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's cabinet approved the change on 26 September.

Support for abortion reform – which now awaits parliamentary approval – has been slipping as details become better known.

Another Noxa poll in September 2008 put support at 57 percent against 30 percent opposed. Another poll in May found support at 47 percent, with 46 percent against.

Under the reforms, abortions would be allowed for women of 16 and over on demand up to the 14th week of pregnancy. Women can also undergo the procedure after 22 weeks if the foetus has a serious or incurable illness.

The existing law introduced in 1985, only allows abortion in cases of rape, foetal malformation and when a pregnant woman's mental or physical health is deemed to be at risk if the pregnancy goes to term.

The main opposition conservative Popular Party has said it will challenge the reforms in the Constitutional Court. The Spanish Family Forum, a coalition of Catholic groups, plans a demonstration against abortion on 17 October in Madrid.

AFP / Expatica

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