Spain Forbids Activists From Blaming Women For Abortions
On April 13, King Philip VI of Spain signed changes to the country’s abortion law, which were later published on the website of Spain’s official state bulletin. Now, in addition to women’s right to voluntarily terminate their pregnancies, it provides protection from insults, condemnation, and attempts to discourage abortion by medical professionals, various activists, and demonstrators outside specialized clinics.
According to the law, citizens who attempt to « prevent a woman from exercising her right to voluntarily terminate her pregnancy through intrusive, insulting, intimidating, and threatening actions » may be criminally prosecuted. Violation of the law carries up to a year in prison or community service if the person has no previous criminal record.
According to The Olive Press, participants in the anti-abortion movement « Right to Life » held a rally outside Parliament in Madrid on the day the law was passed. According to them, they are not forcing anyone outside the clinics to change their minds, but are simply « praying for life. » « Prayer is not a crime. We will continue to pray and offer help to women so that they understand that this is not the only option. More than 6,000 babies were born last year because of movements like this, and not a single mother regretted the birth, » commented a Right to Life spokesman.
The preamble to the amended law cites data from a report prepared by the Association of Accredited Pregnancy Termination Clinics of Spain. According to the result of a 2018 survey by the organization, nearly 89% of women in Spain felt harassed because of their decision to have an abortion, and 66% felt really threatened.