• 16-JAN-2014

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Abortion in Spain: Turning back the clock on women's' rights is inacceptable

S&D Euro MPs today stood up for women's rights in Spain and against the Spanish government's plan to abolish the right to abortion.

In a debate demanded by the S&D Group during the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, S&D Euro MPs stressed that "turning back the clock on women's rights is unacceptable".S&D Euro MP Iratxe García said:

"Europe can't stay passive faced with a decision that will undo many years of the fight for women's dignity and rights.

"The government's plans will compel Spanish women to become mothers even if they don't wish to be. The law is creating discrimination. Women who can afford it will be able to go abroad to abort whereas the poorest women will end up risking backstreet abortions.

"As a result, the next generation of women will have less rights than our mothers."

S&D Euro MP Edite Estrela, the author of a draft resolution on sexual and reproductive rights, stressed:

"What is happening in Spain with the abortion law is affecting all women. Sexual and reproductive health is not a question of culture. It is a fundamental right – freedom, dignity and respect for women."All women should be allowed to end a pregnancy safely regardless of their economic status."

S&D spokeswoman on women's rights Britta Thomsen added:"Gender equality, freedom and dignity are among the basic values of the European Union. Such values include the right to sexual and reproductive health.

"We hear that the Spanish government is taking a huge step back and taking the legislation back 15 years. This development is very unfortunate. The result will be that women who need an abortion will go abroad and those who stay at home will risk their lives by having illegal abortions.

"We know how many women died in the 50s and 60s when they had to choose illegal ways to end pregnancies."

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