Spain’s Prime Minister wants to liberalize teen abortion laws
Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has proposed the legalization of teen abortion for girls 16 or older without parental consent. Fortunately, Zapatero is getting resistence from the opposition and from within his own party. Recall that last March the Spanish socialist group Solidarity, which opposes many of Zapatero’s policies, released a statement which reads: “We are socialists and we oppose abortion and its legalization. We oppose all attacks on life: the death penalty, torture, hunger, the arms race, war, slavery.” It appears that the socialist factions in Spain are in sharp disagreement on issues of life.
MSNBC has the write-up on Zapatero’s proposal. Here’s a snippet:
MADRID – Spain’s Socialist prime minister has irked his natural enemies on the right and in the Catholic church by legalizing gay marriage and instituting fast-track divorce. Now he has hit a raw nerve even among his supporters with a proposal to let 16-year-olds get abortions without parental consent.
The debate is harsh and emotional, showing that for all the changes Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has introduced with his trailblazing social agenda since taking power in 2004, abortion remains ever sensitive in a country where most people call themselves Catholic, even if few churches are full on Sundays.
Liberalizing teen abortion is part of a broader reform proposed for Spain’s abortion law, the main thrust of which is to allow the procedure with no restrictions up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy.
The government gave the bill preliminary approval in May and Parliament is expected to take it up in the fall. Zapatero probably has the votes to get it passed. However, the outcry on the teenager issue may force him to backtrack.
Polling numbers are against him: a survey published last month by the newspaper La Vanguardia said 71 percent oppose the teenage abortion reform, and the proportion among Socialist voters was 60 percent. A poll in El Pais put the figures at 64 and 56 percent, respectively. Both surveys gave a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.