Spanish media reported this week on the comments made by the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Levada, who lamented a new law on abortion that experts say will make the practice more widespread in Spain.
Cardinal Levada made his comments while in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where he was participating in a theology seminar organized by the Theological Institute. During a meeting with local reporters, he called for cordial and thoughtful dialogue on abortion, with special attention to the history and religious faith of the country.
“I have read the reports on the issue, but the official response should be made by the Spanish bishops. At any rate I should say that the plan saddens me because …the precious dignity of each person that begins at conception … is not at the heart of this plan,” he said.
The cardinal noted that abortion “is not something merely political, but rather it is a religious and cultural issue that touches the roots of the human race.”
Last week, Spain’s Minister of Equality, Bibiana Aido, announced the formation of a “committee of experts” that would work on a new law on abortion for Spain, which would take effect at the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010.
In Spain, abortion is legal in cases of rape (up to the 12th week of pregnancy), fetal deformation (up to the 22nd week) and when the life of the mother is in danger during all nine months of pregnancy.
Pro-life groups have denounced that the “committee of experts” will include members who are openly supportive of abortion or are connected to the ruling Spanish Socialist party.