Spain Looking to Increase Abortion Restrictions, Moving Away From Liberal Law

Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon announced on Monday that the government is looking to propose changes to the country's abortion law by the end of October, moving away from a more liberal law introduced by the previous Socialist government in 2010.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party has declared that it stands by the Roman Catholic Church on moral and social issues, including abortion, and is looking to overturn a previous law that scrapped restrictions up to the 14th week of pregnancy, The Associated Press reported.

Rajoy will be hoping to reinstate some of the main principles behind a 1985 law which made abortion illegal except for cases of rape, if the fetus is deformed, or if there are serious health risks for the mother.

Gallardon explained that the proposed new law will be "in line with our commitments and with the criteria of the Constitutional Court," according to an interview he did with public radio RNE.

According to 2013 statistics, Roman Catholicism remains the largest religion in Spain – 70.9 percent of the population identify with the faith, though the non-religious now make up 24.6 percent.

Over 250,000 people signed a major petition last year seeking to repeal the country's liberal abortion law that replaced the 1985 one, following reports that pregnancy terminations had dramatically increased ever since they became legal in the cases of fetal deformity.

Pro-life supporters had strongly opposed the liberal abortion law, and hundreds of thousands of protesters came together in demonstrations in 2011 in Madrid.

The protesters carried the slogan "Yes to Life," and according to their manifesto, urged the "abolition of all permissive abortion laws and the withdrawal of all the provisions making it easier for euthanasia and the manipulation of human embryos."

"We want to say 'yes to life,' say 'yes' to the birth of a son," Ana Maria Llera de la Torre of the Adevida-Jaén Association shared with The Christian Post at that time. "We intend to celebrate life. The demonstration goes against abortion."

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