Spain drops plan for tough new limits on abortion

Regional leaders in People’s Party speak out against changes which have proved very unpopular

Several regional leaders in the Spanish conservative People’s Party have spoken out against changes in abortion laws, which had proved deeply unpopular, with polls showing between 70-80 per cent of the population opposed. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Several regional leaders in the Spanish conservative People’s Party have spoken out against changes in abortion laws, which had proved deeply unpopular, with polls showing between 70-80 per cent of the population opposed. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

The Spanish government is poised to abandon its plans to drastically limit access to abortion in the country, according to the newspaper El Mundo.

The conservative People’s Party introduced legislation in December that would make abortion illegal except in the case of rape or when there is a risk to the physical and mental health of the mother. The legislation required women wanting an abortion to have two doctors verify that these conditions had been met.

But sources from the party told El Mundo yesterday that the law would never make it to parliament. One told the Spanish daily: “There is no consensus on the project.” Several regional leaders within the party have spoken out against the changes, which had proved deeply unpopular, with polls showing between 70-80 per cent of the population opposed.

According to El Mundo, the government’s retreat was motivated by electoral concerns. With municipal, regional and general elections on the horizon in 2015, sources said it had been an error to introduce a debate that pitted religious hardliners against the majority of Spaniards.

The People’s P arty has not officially confirmed the report. – Guardian service