Spain: Abortion at 16 Law Adopted by Ministers

Source: FSSPX News

On May 15, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the bill on “The Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy and Sexual and Reproductive Health.” The Catholic Church, as well as associations in favor of the defense of life, had appealed at the end of March for a general mobilization in Madrid to protest against this bill. The new norm will replace, when it is promulgated as a law, the current legislation in force since 1985 which decriminalizes abortion in cases of violence, or serious malformations of the fetus or danger to the physical and psychological health of the mother. The new law will fix the age of majority at 16, allowing girls to take the decision to have an abortion.

Bibiana Aido, the Spanish minister for equality, explained that up until the fourteenth week of pregnancy, a woman will be free to terminate her pregnancy. In exceptional cases, up to the twenty-second week, a woman will be able to end the pregnancy if there is a risk to her life or health, or if there are serious abnormalities in the fetus. In both cases, two medical specialists will be required to make a judgment. From this moment only a clinical multidisciplinary committee will be able to authorize a termination at the request of the pregnant woman when it is found that there are fetal abnormalities incompatible with life, or an extremely grave or incurable illness. The text establishes that no woman will be given a prison sentence for terminating her pregnancy.

Several surveys carried out in Spain on the question of abortion show that the majority of Spaniards are opposed to the right to abortion without parental consent from the age of sixteen. According to an opinion poll carried out by Sigma 2 and presented by the “Right to Life” Platform, the law would be rejected by a majority of citizens. 43.1% of women reject the terms of the law, while 34.3% are in agreement. In the population as a whole, 40.5% reject it while 36.7% accept it. A survey carried out for El Pais on 1,000 people shows that 64% of Spaniards are opposed to it, representing 56% of socialist voters.

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, declared on May 28 that abortion constituted something much worse than the abuse of minors in Ireland: “What has happened in a certain number of colleges is not comparable with the millions of lives destroyed by abortion.” His words annoyed the socialist government of José-Luis Zapatero: “It is very grave and irresponsible to compare the abuse of minors with abortion,” said Trinidad Jimenez, the Minister of Health and Social Policy.

The permanent Commission of the Spanish Bishops Conference (CSBC) met in Madrid on June 16 and 17 and has published a Declaration concerning the abortion bill: an assault on the lives of the unborn becoming law. The bishops state that if the bill in question becomes law, this would signify “a serious retrograde step in the protection of life, which would bring about a greater abandonment of pregnant women, and in the final analysis, very grave harm to the common good.” According to them, possibly the most obscure aspect of the bill “is the pretext to describe abortion as a right which must be protected by the State.” In fact, during the 14-week period which the law establishes, “the will of the mother becomes the absolute judge over the life or death of the child she is carrying.” For “the right to life is not a concession of the State, it is a right which precedes the State itself, and which it always has the obligation to protect.”

“Abortion has never been a medical treatment, it is always murder,” state the bishops. “An authentic health policy must always take into account the health of the pregnant woman, but also of the life and health of the child to be born.” The Spanish prelates also condemn the fact that “this bill does not express a true concern for the good of women who are tempted by abortion, especially the very young. It only opens up the road to a moral abyss and post-abortion syndrome.” The declaration recalls that each human being “is a sacred gift for his parents and for the whole of society,” and consequently “his life can not be left to the arbitrariness of someone, even less to that of the State, whose first duty is precisely that of guaranteeing the right of everyone to life, as a fundamental element of the common good.”

(Sources: apic / fides )