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Regional Lawmakers in Spain Challenge Spain's Plan to Ban Women from Freely Opting for Abortions

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  February 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM Women Health News   - G J E 4
Lawmakers in two regions of Spain challenged the government's plan to ban women from freely opting for abortions on Thursday, a fresh sign of division over the controversial reform.
 Regional Lawmakers in Spain Challenge Spain's Plan to Ban Women from Freely Opting for Abortions
Regional Lawmakers in Spain Challenge Spain's Plan to Ban Women from Freely Opting for Abortions
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The parliament in the western region of Extremadura approved a motion brought by rebels from the ruling Popular Party calling for a halt to the reform.

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The regional parliament in independence-minded Catalonia also passed a motion calling for the draft bill to be scrapped.

The symbolic votes were the latest sign of division within the conservative ruling party over the reform, which has outraged pro-choice groups and brought thousands of people on to the streets to protest.

The draft bill approved by the current government last month would allow abortion only in cases of rape that is reported to the police, or a medically certified threat to the mother's physical or psychological health.

In Extremadura, 35 members supported the motion and 28 opposed it. In Catalonia, 91 lawmakers called for the abortion plan to be scrapped and 31 defended it.

The president of Extremadura, Jose Antonio Monago, is one of the most high-profile party figures to have criticized the reform publicly.

The bill has not yet been sent to the national parliament, where the conservative Popular Party holds a strong majority. It fought off a bid to throw out the bill in a vote there on Tuesday.

The motion in Extremadura called for the abortion reform to be halted so a bill can be drawn up that is "more consensual and in tune with today's society and in line with the countries around us".

The former Socialist government brought Spain into line with much of Europe when it passed the current law in 2010, giving women the right to opt for abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Recent opinion polls, such as one published in El Pais newspaper on January 11, indicated a majority of Spaniards disagreed with the government's plan.

Source: AFP
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