Pro-life campaigners brought the centre of Madrid to a standstill, protesting at plans to ease the law on abortions in Spain. Organisers of the ‘Every Life Counts’ march claimed a million people took part, although police said there were considerably fewer. But the passion was obvious: anti-abortion groups from across the political divide reject controversial proposals to allow terminations up to 14 weeks.
“We oppose making abortion a simple right, which would allow minors to terminate pregnancies without their parents’ consent,” said former Conservative Prime Minister Jose-Maria Aznar. The former premier joined other leading conservatives at the march, although the Popular Party itself was not officially represented. The government was quick to criticise. “What did the Conservatives do during their eight years in power, when there were half a million abortions?” said Equal Rights Minister Bibiana Aido. “What did they do? Nothing! We must defend life in the same way that we must ensure no woman is sent to prison for taking such a difficult decision.” The bill runs the risk of galvanising opposition to Spain’s minority Socialist government. A poll for the newspaper El Pais said two out of three voters are already unhappy with its handling of the annoyingly-presistent recession.