PP ignores united call in Congress to modify abortion reform

Opposition parties say they will fight planned changes at the European level

Popular Party (PP) lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a unified call by opposition groups in Congress to modify the government’s proposed controversial changes to the abortion law.

Some parties, such as the Socialists, announced they would rally support across Europe to pressure Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy into stopping the reform from going ahead. On Thursday, the European Parliament is expected to open a debate on the changes, with the Social Democrats, Green and left-wing parties joining forces to reject the administration’s planned reforms.

All of the opposition parties in Congress filed petitions with the permanent standing committee to call Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardón — who is considered the architect of the reform — and Health Minister Ana Mato to appear before lawmakers.

Reforms to the 2010 legislation will restrict a woman’s right to a pregnancy termination. Women would only be able to obtain an abortion if the birth posed serious health risks to the mother or in cases of rape. Fetal deformation would no longer be a cause for obtaining the procedure as it is under the current law.

“No one should be surprised that we are changing the law because it was addressed in our electoral platform,” Mato said.

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