Anti-abortion campaigners have held mass street demonstrations across Spain.
Organisers’ claims that up to 600,000 people joined rallies have not been confirmed.
Addressing slogans such as ‘murderers’ to the government, they had been urged by the conservative opposition party and the Catholic Church to protest a new law making it easier for women to have terminations.
“We support the right to life. It’s not the children’s fault if their parents don’t want them, they should have thought about that before,” said one.
But Catholic supporters of the right to an abortion say it is society rather than the Church that is deciding the law. A spokeswoman for the Catholics for the Right to Decide association says:
“The authority of the Church is invalid if the people do not massively believe in it. And in terms of sexual and reproductive rights there is a massive rejection of it because the vast majority of Catholics use contraception and will have abortion if necessary. In the end we are not listening to the teachings of the Church on these issues.”
Conservative politicians say they will reverse the new law, which could be in effect by June. It would allow all women the right to terminate pregnancies up to 14 weeks. Abortions are currently only allowed in cases of rape, foetal deformities or danger to the mother’s health.