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Deputy PM fails to clarify reforms to abortion laws

Source: El Pais - Fri 10th May 2013
Deputy PM fails to clarify reforms to abortion laws

In the regular post-Cabinet meeting press conference on Friday, Deputy PM Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría did little to clear up the confusion as to exactly what the government is planning to do with Spain's current abortion legislation, which was passed in 2010 by the Socialist government and allows women to opt for an abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, no questions asked.

Since the PP came to power in 2011, Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón has publicly mulled a return to the previous system, which would eliminate abortion on demand until week 14, as well as ban fetal abnormality as a condition for granting a termination.

"The government is studying the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Spain signed, and the commitments that this implies on this question," Santamaría told the press on Friday.

Pressed further on whether that meant that Gallardón was speaking for the government on the subject of abortion, or expressing his own views on the subject, the deputy PM refused to be drawn further. "Look," she replied. "The Justice Ministry is the department in charge of drafting this legislation and it is studying all of these questions. [...] An abortion is always a failure, so I would call for a debate with the required sensitivity, one that is calm and based on proper arguments," she added.

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