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Spanish women’s rights groups have staged a protest in Madrid against the conservative government’s plans to restrict the right to abortion.

It wants to roll back reforms introduced by the previous socialist government two years ago, including in cases where the foetus is deformed.

As it stands the law allows abortion on demand until women are 14 weeks pregnant. 16 and 17-year-olds can abort without parental permission.

Spain’s Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon wants to impose a condition of parental approval for those youngsters, and says handicap or malformation alone should not justify abortion.

Elected last year, the government promised to tighten abortion laws. But one poll on Sunday suggested its plans were deeply unpopular, even among practising Roman Catholics.

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