Congress in Spain rejects petition by leftists to liberalize abortion


By a vote of 277-21, Spain’s House of Representatives rejected a motion presented this week by left-wing lawmakers that would have allowed greater access to abortion and made it a part of the national health care system.

Left-wing lawmakers requested that the vote on the motion be secret, but the measure only garnered the support of its sponsors.  Amendments by the ruling Socialist party to achieve a greater consensus on the application of the current law on abortions were in turn rejected by the motion’s sponsors.

Representative Carme Garcia, a supporter of the motion, said the amendment proposed by the Socialist party lacked clarity, and she criticized the government of Jose Luis Rodriquez for what she called its “ambiguous position” regarding the modification of abortion law, saying Zapatero was trying to “save face” before the upcoming elections.

Socialist party lawmakers said that while their amendment was intended to achieve a greater consensus, they agreed that abortion laws needed to be revised because they are currently “insufficient.”

“This requires a serious social debate,” they stated, emphasizing that they agreed with the premise of the motion but that they would continue to work for “a calm change based on consensus and dialogue.” “We just don’t think that this is the right time or manner of dealing with such a serious issue,” they said.

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