The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, is calling for the country's new law on abortion to “be abolished as soon as possible.”
The Spanish Senate voted last Wednesday to pass the Socialist government’s new law on abortion. The decision will allow women over the age of 16 to obtain the procedure up until the 14th week of pregnancy.
The auxiliary bishop, who is from Madrid, remarked that the Church “welcomes” and “will support” any mobilization in support of life and against this law, such as the marches planned for March 7 in Madrid and Bilbao.
“Anything that can be done to keep people aware of what is at stake, which is the right to life of the innocent and weak, is welcome, no matter who does it,” he said. The Church “will continue speaking out for the voiceless, and she will support and welcome all movements” to defend the unborn, Bishop Martinez Camino said.
Asked about whether King Juan Carlos would be barred from Communion if he signs the new law, as would be the case with politicians who voted in favor of it, Bishop Martinez Camino explained that the king’s situation is “unique” and therefore must receive different consideration. “It is not the same act. That of the king is unique and very distinct from that of a politician who votes in favor of this law when he or she doesn’t have to,” he added.
According to Spain's constitution, the king must sign laws passed by Parliament within 15 days.
Bishop Martinez Camino called the new law “a grave step backward in the protection of the inviolable right to life” that “leaves women abandoned.” Abortion is “a tragedy and a crime,” the bishop said, announcing that the Church plans to hold a social awareness campaign on March 25.
He then lamented that the “educational system has been made into a political instrument and that restrictions have been placed on conscientious objection.” He noted that one of the “most troubling” aspects of the new law is that it makes education an instrument at the service of pro-abortion ideology. “Education aimed at darkening the conscience with regards to the inviolable right to life of the unborn” must be rejected.
Abortion “is a tragedy that cries out to heaven,” he emphasized. The Church is devoted to “continuing to defend the right of the unborn and to offer alternatives to the crime of abortion.”