Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spain's Zapatero government, to proceed with liberalisation of abortion law.

The Spanish cabinet have announced their proposals to make abortion available on demand during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. It is understood that girls as young as 16 would be allowed to terminate a pregnancy without parental consent. (BBC News)

Officially Spain's current law allows babies to be aborted following rape, when a baby has genetic defects, and when the health of a woman is at risk. In practice however the law is actually applied much more liberally and many Spanish women have been able to secure abortions by arguing that pregnancy was endangering their mental health.

The new plan has been launched despite the objections of Spanish doctors, despite major pro-life marches held simultaneously in 80 cities across Spain earlier this year and despite appeals by the Catholic Church. In launching the new proposals the Zapatero government is expected to curtail conscientious objection by medical personnel.

Spain’s Justice Minister Francisco Caamano is on record as saying that when it comes to abortion “there is no room for conscientious objection”. This chilling statement was met with a counter statement by Dr. Esteban Rodriguez of Derecho a Vivir (Right to Life) who said "We are willing to go to jail rather than following a criminal law"..."and we are willing to commit the supposed crime of disobedience before the crime of abortion." Dr Rodriguez also said "We will not kill our patients, nor will we commit a crime against the public health deliberately harming the health of women, no matter how much the Minister of Justice threatens us and abuses his power".

The objections to the proposed law reflect the writings of the great pro-life champion of the 20th century, Pope John Paul II who in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae said "Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection." (Evangelium Vitae, 73) see also SPUC Director Blogspot