MEPs urged the Spanish government on Thursday to withdraw a new proposal that will restrict abortion rights in Spain.
In a bid to gather conservative support and keeping an electoral promise by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish government backed a proposal for a tougher abortion law earlier in December.
The new bill does not allow women to finish their pregnancy at an early stage, with the exception of rape cases or when the mother’s health is at risk.
“Spain has the right to decide, but women have the right to decide on their bodies and on reproductive rights that affect them personally. They have the right to decide whether or not they want an abortion.” said Swedish GUE/NGL MEP and Chairman of the EP Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Mikael Gustafsson.
Except for the conservatives, all parties in the European Parliament do not support the new proposal.
Pro-choice groups warned that it can pose a threat for women as the number of illegal abortions might increase. MEPs also feared that other countries might follow suit.
“If we allow this law to go through in Spain, then laws on reproductive health across Europe will be under threat and may be seriously affected,”, said Spanish Izquierda Unida MEP Ascensión de las Heras.
“In the context of the situation in Spain at the moment, with a significant rate of unemployment, poorest women who are the most disadvantaged will suffer from this change in law, they will no longer have access to safe and low cost abortions.” said Portuguese GUE MEP Inês Cristina Zuber.
Currently in Spain, a woman has the right to abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy and up to the 22nd week in case of foetal deformities.