Extremadura premier joins chorus of PP voices speaking out against abortion law

"No one can deny anyone the right to be a mother, nor can anyone force someone to become one," says Monago

Extremadura premier Rafael Monago and Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, pictured during a recent PP event.
Extremadura premier Rafael Monago and Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, pictured during a recent PP event. Cristobal Manuel (EL PAÍS)

Another top Popular Party (PP) official publicly came out against his government's proposed abortion law on Monday. Extremadura premier José Antonio Monago said he plans to present his argument against the reform on January 8 during the party's next executive committee meeting.

"No one can deny anyone the right to be a mother, nor can anyone force someone to become one," Monago said during his New Year's message.

He joins a growing camp of PP dissidents - including Galician Premier Alberto Núñez Feijóo - who are calling for changes to the bill that was presented by Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.

The draft law proposes changes to the current 2010 abortion legislation by placing restrictions on when a woman can undergo the procedure. Currently, women can terminate a pregnancy up to the 14th week without having to give any explanation to physicians.

Ruiz-Gallardón's bill, which was approved by the Cabinet earlier this month, would allow for abortion in only two instances: rape, and the risk of serious psychological or physical harm to the mother.

Since the bill was announced, PP officials have been publicly questioning the legislation. Cristina Cifuentes, the central government delegate in Madrid, said she doesn't agree with many aspects of the bill, while Borja Sémper, the PP spokesman in the Basque parliament, asked his party's lawmakers to vote with their conscience.

Meanwhile, the opposition Socialists announced that they will file a petition in Congress demanding that Ruiz-Gallardón and Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría appear before lawmakers to explain why the government "has aligned itself with the far right" over abortion.

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