Spain’s new government has proposed changes to the country’s current abortion law to require that girls younger than 18 receive parental consent to get an abortion. The changes would require women to justify their need for an abortion.
The government has also proposed to limit emergency contraception, which is currently available in pharmacies without a prescription.
Although pro-choice groups support the proposed changes, hundreds of women have already started to rally in over 40 Spanish cities, saying that the changes would violate women’s basic rights and backtrack in the battle for equality.
Proposed changes to the current gay marriage laws would change the wording to refer to “civil unions” instead of “marriages”. In reaction, a writer said, “Only facist regimes have changed the civil status of families”.
Another proposed change is the increase of prison sentences, including “permanent life sentences for crimes that cause great social alarm”, a proposal that groups like the Pro Humans Rights Association of Andalusía have challenged.
Critics of the announced changes claim that the proposed measures are an attempt to distract attention from poor the nation’s economy, where the average unemployment rate is 22 percent and is as high as 50 percent among young people.
Title: Conservative Government’s Reforms Draw Fire
Author: Inés Benítez
Publication: Inter Press Service
Date: 13 Feb 2012
Student Researcher: Ria Brigmann, Santa Rosa Junior College
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman, Santa Rosa Junior College