Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande depicted as Hitler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

Read more

Europe

Tens of thousands gather in Madrid to protest abortion law

© AFP (archive photo)

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-01

Tens of thousands of pro-choice supporters gathered on the streets of Spain’s capital Madrid on Saturday to voice their opposition to the government’s plans to restrict access to abortion.

The rally was organised Saturday by dozens of women's groups and organisations that fight for reproductive rights.

Protesters carried banners saying "Allow mothers to decide," and "Mothers and fathers in freedom."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government announced on December 20 that it would roll back a 2010 law that allows women to opt freely for abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The new law, which has yet to pass parliament where the ruling People's Party enjoys an absolute majority, would grant women the right to access an abortion only in cases of rape or a threat to the physical or psychological health of the mother.

Rajoy's government has repeatedly postponed the abortion reform, reportedly because of internal dissent, after promising in its 2011 election campaign to tighten the rules.

The delay has drawn cries of impatience from Spain's powerful Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.

Last April, the head of Spain's Catholic Church, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, said the 2010 law had "led to a rise in the number of abortions to terrifying levels".

The national health ministry said about 118,000 abortions were carried out in Spain in 2011, up from 113,000 the previous year.

Campaigners dispute the effect of the legal changes on abortion numbers.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Date created : 2014-02-01

  • FRANCE

    French lawmakers vote to relax abortion legislation

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French lawmakers debate relaxing abortion law

    Read more

COMMENT(S)