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Hundreds protest Spain toughening abortion law

Monday, July 30, 2012    

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MADRID, Spain (AP) — Hundreds of Spaniards protested Sunday against the conservative Government's proposal to roll back women's abortion rights, including in cases where the foetus is deformed.

The protesters in Madrid included one young woman who wrote the slogan "Judges and priests away from my body" on her belly.

Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon has said he will ask Parliament to change the existing law, including implementing a requirement for parental permission in cases where 16- and 17-year-olds want to end pregnancies.

Ruiz-Gallardon said the changes also make it harder for women to abort foetuses with physical deformities.

"The malformation of a foetus can no longer be a case for abortion," Ruiz-Gallardon said in a recent interview published by La Razon newspaper.

In 2010, Spain's Socialist Government changed the law to allow abortions without restrictions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and for 16- and 17-year-olds without parental permission.

Ruiz-Gallardon's right-leaning People's Party won a landslide victory in November and has promised to carry out its campaign pledge to tighten abortion laws.

A poll by Metroscopia commissioned and published by El Pais newspaper yesterday said that Gallardon's proposal was unpopular, even among conservative voters.

It said 65 per cent of People's Party voters and 64 per cent of practising Roman Catholics disagreed with the proposal to make aborting foetuses with malformations illegal.

A total of 81 per cent of those polled disagreed with Ruiz-Gallardon's proposal, the poll said.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults above 18 years of age and had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

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