Extremadura PP urges government to shelve abortion reform

Eurodeputies open new front in Brussels in united rejection of “human rights violation”

The voices of opposition to the government’s proposed reform of the Abortion Law within the Popular Party grew to a chorus Wednesday when the conservative group in the Extremadura regional assembly drew up a motion urging Mariano Rajoy’s administration to “open a process of dialogue and debate with other political forces” to seek a less divisive reform “in keeping with today’s plural and educated society, and that is in line with legislation in neighboring countries.”

Regional premier José Antonio Monago, of the PP, also stressed that the government should not push ahead with its reform unilaterally and that the new law must include “the rational combination of time periods with the regulation of specific scenarios such as fetal abnormalities, pregnancy of minors and instances of rape.”

Under the current legislation introduced by the Socialists in 2010 a woman can terminate a pregnancy on demand at up to 14 weeks. The draft reform is designed to only allow abortion on the grounds of rape and serious health risks to the mother. Serious fetal malformation would not necessarily comprise a basis for termination.

Extremadura’s pronouncement marks the first time an entire regional PP branch – albeit one that governs with the support of the United Left – has asked the government to call a halt to Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón’s controversial crusade.

The statement issued by the Extremadura PP is based on the tenet that “nobody can deny a woman the right to be a mother, and neither can anybody force a woman to become one.”

“Motherhood is a fundamental right that cannot be subjected to impositions or suppression on the part of any political, social or religious motion,” the text concluded.

European assembly

Meanwhile, the PP faces a second front in Brussels, where more than half of the European Parliament has taken up a cause that has been termed “a violation of human rights.”

Social Democrats, Greens, Liberals and the European United Left have called on Spain to withdraw the reform. Hannes Swoboda, the leader of the Social Democrats in the chamber, said he was “frankly very surprised” that Rajoy does not have “other problems to deal with,” adding he believed an “artificial” debate had been launched to divert attention from Spain’s rampant unemployment and economic issues.

“Spain has taken a step backward in time in restricting access to safe and legal abortion,” said the liberal eurodeputy Sophia in’t Veld.

“There is no need to change the current law other than for a part of society to impose its moral stance on the entirety,” noted Socialist deputy Iratxe García.

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