Rorate Caeli

Note: What does the new Spanish abortion bill mean?

Spanish pro-lifers have protested for decades against liberal abortion laws,
especially the 2010 law. They seem to have achieved a tiny victory.

The Spanish central government has introduced a bill to restrict some abortion liberalities established by the previous Socialist government. Worlwide headlines include strident words such as, "Spain pushes for harsh law on abortions, sparking outrage". What does the bill actually mean?

First, it is a bill, that is, it is still subject to modifications in parliamentary procedure, or even rejection - party majorities are often wobbly in such "controversial" matters...

Second, far from wide restrictions, it is mostly a return from the 2010 regime (that instituted abortion on demand as a right for most practical purposes) to the first Spanish abortion liberalization law of 1985, that considered the procedure merely non-criminal in some specific cases - good enough, but far from a truly pro-life measure.

Third, it is, though surely a very timid measure, a healthy sign that the worldwide trend for abortion does not have to be always in the direction of more death and destruction, but can at times be reverted and even reduced. Measures to restrict abortion have been introduced or at least proposed in the past few years in nations as different as Russia and Turkey, and the Spanish example will hopefully show that a Western representative regime (not only a formerly proud Catholic nation, but a great Motherland of Catholic peoples if ever there was one) can enact pro-life measures, or at least halt the pro-death advances made in recent decades.

This symbolic side of the measure was also shown on Christmas Eve by the harsh response of the Spanish Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, to the French Minister for Women's Rights (sic) and spokeswoman of the French Socialist Government, Najat Belkacem, who committed the effrontery of criticizing a foreign bill. Just days earlier, reminded Gallardón, the European Parliament had rejected the radical report proposed by the Portuguese Socialist MEP Edite Estrela (the "Estrela Report") that, among other things, tried to institute abortion as a European-wide "human right". In view of the European Parliament's decision, Gallardón told Belkacem that "the Socialist theses on abortion are a thing of the past".

Let us hope that he is right.

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