The Spanish Senate voted 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 new law, which will go into effect in four months, was passed by a vote of 132-126. Members of the Socialist government, including Bibiana Aido, Minister of Equality, Trinidad Jimenez, Minister of Health, and Francisco Caamano, Minister of Justice, celebrated the outcome as “a great victory.”
For girls under the age of 16, the law states they must inform at least one parent or guardian of their desire to have an abortion, unless they can prove this would put them in physical danger.
Ironically, during his remarks at the World Congress against the death penalty being held this week in Geneva, Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who supports abortion, said, “Nobody has the right to take the life of another human being - absolutely nobody.”
Following the passage of the law, the spokesperson for the Popular Party, Carmen Duenas, accused the Socialist government of both “imposing abortion on demand” on Spanish society and for having “scorn” for “the voice of the people,” who reject the law “by a clear majority.”
Duenas also slammed President Zapatero’s cabinet for wanting to “do away with the family, one of the pillars of Spanish society” and for “leaving life unprotected.”
“They are already destroying our country’s present; let them not destroy the future as well.
She also criticized the decision for “letting men off the hook from their responsibilities” and for placing abortion over motherhood. She added, “and you call that historic achievement, social advancement, progress and feminism. If anything it’s backwards and outdated feminism.”
On various occasions, the Bishops’ Conference of Spain and many individual bishops expressed their firm rejection of the new law, calling it a “serious step backward” in the protection of the unborn.”
“The state is calling something a right which, is actually an attack on the fundamental right to life,” the bishops said. “The protection of the fundamental good of human life and of the right to life are essential obligations of those in authority.”
“The inclusion of abortion among the instruments necessary for health care is in and of itself a grave falsity. Medicine is supposed to prevent illness or cure it. Pregnancy will never be an illness, even though it might entail complications to one’s health, be unplanned or even the result of violence.
“For this reason, abortion is never healing, it is always killing,” the bishops concluded.