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Spain's left slams abortion law changes

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Spain's left slams abortion law changes
Women protest changes that could limit access to abortion in Spain. The sign reads: "Take abortion out of Spain's penal code." Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
16:20 CEST+02:00
Spain's socialist opposition party say they will mount a legal challenge against any changes that make Spain's abortion law more restrictive. They will also downgrade their relations with the Vatican if new rules are introduced.

The controversial changes to the country's law on abortions were announced by the country's Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón on Monday.

Ruiz-Gallardón said that the changes to the law would be introduced in the very near future, reported news agency EFE on Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

The changes include "a change in current time limits" on when abortions take place. 

Earlier discussions of changes to this law have included talks on whether, for example, abortion will be illegal for women aged under 18 years of age without their parents' permission, reported El País newspaper on Tuesday.

Also under consideration at one stage was a move that would make abortion illegal in cases where the foetus was deformed.

But Spain's socialists have come out strongly against moves which have already been stalled three times.

On Monday, Elena Valenciano, vice-president of Spain's opposition socialist PSOE party said if the ruling Popular Party (PP) followed the bishops' lead on this issue, the socialists would "go to court" over the PP's "agreements with the Vatican". 

"We can't accept that bishops continue to impose their moral position on the (Spanish) people," said Valenciano.

She added that the socialists were even less willing to accept a move which would "limit the freedom of women".

"It seems that bishops and the PP have once again resolved to limit the freedom of women," said Valenciano.

The socialist vice-secretary commented that this was "nothing new" because the two always shared close relations. 

Valenciano stressed that any changes to the law would mean the party changing its relations with the Vatican — a move earlier mooted by the leader of the party Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba in Seville's congress.

Meanwhile, the head of the PSC, the socialist party in Catalonia, Pere Navarro said that the PP's proposed changes to the abortion law were "purely ideological".

He argued that women "now have many fewer rights than before".

Women "in Catalonia and the rest of Spain" had enjoyed more "rights and opportunities under the socialists," he said.

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