The Spanish Prime Minister has dropped plans to tighten the country’s liberal abortion laws, prompting one minister’s resignation.
Last year, the Government unveiled a Bill to restrict abortion to cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother’s psychological or physical health, or in cases of rape.
Earlier this year, the Justice Ministry amended the Bill to allow abortions if the baby has an abnormality.
But last week, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy claimed he had taken “the most sensible decision” in dropping the proposals, and said his Government had failed to agree on the issue.
A source close to the Government said the reforms would be “suicidal in an election year”, according to The Times.
The architect of the Bill, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, announced his resignation as justice minister hours after Rajoy’s remarks.
Abortion on demand
Pro-life supporters have accused Mariano Rajoy of failing to deliver his 2011 election pledge to reform legislation, which currently allows abortion on demand up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy.
Tens of thousands of campaigners protested against Rajoy’s decision not to overturn the law on the streets of Spain, London, Poland and seven Latin American countries.
Gador Joya, of pro-life group Right to Life, said: “If the government does not complete its promises it will be high treason to the Spanish people”.
The Government is now pursuing a partial reform, by seeking to prevent 16 and 17-year-olds from having an abortion without parental consent.
The parliament in Luxembourg is discussing plans to liberalise its abortion laws.
Under the proposals, women would no longer be required to have two consultations before having an abortion.
Instead, they will have the option of a consultation before or after the abortion, which will be reimbursed by the state.