London says no to new Spanish abortion law

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(report by Mireia Chavarria; picture by Helios Alonso)

Around 40 people joined a protest yesterday outside the Spanish embassy in London in solidarity with those in Spain opposing the new anti-abortion law there.

Activists from the Indignados movement, the Women’s Assembly of the Indignados movement and Abortion Rights stood in defence of women’s right to choose.

The new law represents a big step backwards for women in Spain. It restricts abortion to cases of rape and “lasting harm” to the mother’s health, while the current legislation permits abortion without restrictions until the 14th week of pregnancy. The new law is more conservative than the 1985 legislation that included the possibility of abortion in case of serious deformities of the foetus.

The Spanish justice minister claims that this law defends the right of women to be mothers, but what it actually represents a frontal assault to sexual and reproduction rights for women. If the Spanish government really wanted to guarantee our right to “be mothers”, it wouldn’t have approved that reform to the labour law that facilitates redundancies to pregnant women. It wouldn’t be allowing evictions to take place. It wouldn’t be cutting education.

Having legislation that obliges women to give birth will not represent a decline of abortions. What it will mean is that working class people are forced into having abortions at large cost in dangerous conditions.

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