Up to two million people took to the streets in Spain on Saturday to protest against Government plans to weaken the country’s abortion law.
Watch a CNN report from the march
Spanish citizens took to Madrid’s streets under a huge banner that read: “Every Life Matters”.
Organisers said people travelled to the rally from various cities across Spain, and it had the support of 234 anti-abortion groups from 45 countries.
Police estimates put the crowd at 250,000, but the regional Government said that over a million had turned out, and the organisers claimed a turnout of two million.
The Socialist Government wants to weaken current abortion laws.
Part of the proposals would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to have an abortion without the knowledge of their parents.
But one 15-year-old at the march said: “I don’t think it is right for a 16-year-old girl to take the decision to kill a child, who is a person who can be like me or you in a few years”.
Reports from Spain say many ordinary members of the public marched alongside politicians, including the former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.
At present in Spain abortion is allowed in certain circumstances: when a woman is raped, when the pregnant woman’s health is in danger or in cases of fetal ‘malformation’.
But the Spanish Government wants to bring its laws into line with countries such as Britain which have much looser abortion laws.
One protester, lawyer Belen Lopez, said that human life begins at conception and that Spain was erring in following other countries’ examples.
The number of abortions in Spain has doubled in the past decade, from nearly 54,000 in 1998 to 112,000 in 2007.