Spanish opposition resists implementing new abortion law

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Spain's conservative opposition Popular Party Tuesday mounted stiff opposition to a brand new liberal abortion law in the five regions it controls.

There was "no reason" to apply it, Ramon Luis Valcarcel, the head of the Murcia region said. Other areas controlled by the conservatives such as Madrid, Galicia and Navarra have vowed to resist the move.

Spanish newspapers Tuesday spoke of a "rebellion."

The legislation, in line with Spain's European Union partners, is also strongly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church. It was approved by parliament on February 24 and the Socialist government's measure came into effect on Monday.

It allows abortion on demand up to the 14th week of pregnancy and up to 22 weeks if there is a risk to the mother's health or if the foetus has serious problems.

Minors aged 16 or 17 have to inform their families of a decision to abort, except if they face "a clear risk of family violence, threats, pressure or mistreatment."

Spain decriminalised abortion in 1985, a decade after the death of right-wing dictator Francisco Franco, but only in cases of rape, foetal malformation and when a pregnant woman's mental or physical health is deemed to be at risk.

Last year around 115,000 abortions were carried out in Spain, according to the health ministry.

© 2010 AFP

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