Friday, February 20, 2009

A small step for Pro-Choice advocates in Spain

Spain is known for having very strict laws against Abortion, calling it a 'crime' in most cases. Currently, Abortions are only allowed in very early stages of pregnancies, and only under very specific criteria, such as if a doctor signs a certificate that either their physical or mental health is in danger should the pregnancy continue. There're also strict exceptions for rape and malformed fetuses. Anything else – like, if the woman just doesn't want a damn child – tough luck.

A parliamentary committee took the first step by recommending that the government legalize early-stage abortions, with gradual limitations and restrictions as time goes on for the pregnancy. Not much, but definitely a start.

MADRID — Spain is on course to ease its restrictive law on abortion, setting the stage for another clash between a Socialist government that has already introduced sweeping social changes and conservatives and Catholic clergy bent on preserving traditional family values.

A parliamentary committee took the first step this week, recommending that the government legalize early stage abortions, while gradually imposing more restrictions as pregnancies progress.

Abortion is technically a crime in Spain, though it is readily available under the current system, with women needing a doctor's certification that their health _ either physical or mental _ would be at risk if the pregnancy was allowed to proceed.

In theory, such pregnancies can be terminated at any stage. The current law, which dates from 1985, also allows abortion in the first 12 weeks in case of rape, and 22 weeks in case of fetal malformation.

It's interesting, though, that over 100,000 abortions were successfully carried out in Spain in 2008, despite it being so illegal. Methinks they seem to have some lack of enforcement issues (not that it's a bad thing in this case).

One quote I found particularly noteworthy ...

Others say the government is pushing the Roman Catholic country further away from its traditional values.

"Abortion is bad. It is bad for women and it is bad for society," said Sandra Moneo, the parliamentary spokeswoman for the opposition Popular Party. "A woman cannot have a right to something that is bad for her."

Typical delusional ignorant idiot. Exactly how is abortion bad for a woman? In any imaginable way? A botched abortion, perhaps, but hell, a botched mole removal could be just as bad. The operation itself is what counts, not any potential mishaps, and as far as procedures go, I don't recall abortion being remotely dangerous. (Not saying it's pleasant, though.)

Although, reading the article, I'm getting a good opinion for their Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He seems to be one of those rare open-minded politicians with his policies, such as his work to legalize Gay Marriage, allowing fast-track divorces and increasing rights given to transsexuals. How many other political figureheads can claim to have done that?

This has, obviously, attracted the anger of the Church more than once, with massive rallies to protest his work to make the world, or Spain at least, a little better a place to live. But then, as far as I can tell, anyone who provokes the wrath of the Church is likely to be a great and good man with an open mind – precisely what the Church doesn't want, anyway, considering its track record.


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