Congress commission challenges PP on abortion rights

Pro-choice marchers in Madrid demand right to decide on abortion in Spain. File photo: EFE / El Diario
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► Podemos resolution starts process to overturn restrictive 2015 legislation ►

A key commission in Spain’s Congress of Deputies approved a resolution Tuesday calling on the Spanish government to amend current legislation governing abortion rights in Spain, specifically rolling back restrictions on the rights of 16- and 17-year-olds to voluntary interruption of pregnancy. The restrictions were part of a package of legislation on reproductive rights passed by an absolute majority vote of the conservative governing Partido Popular (PP) in Congress in 2015.

The resolution advanced Tuesday in the congressional Commission on Equality by the Unidos Podemos parliamentary group moved out of committee and into the broader arena of congressional debate with the support of the Socialist party (PSOE) in a 19-14 vote, with four abstentions. Voting against Tuesday’s resolution were representatives of the PP, with legislators of the centre-right Ciudadanos party abstaining.

The Unidos Podemos resolution was said to have been aired in the Equality Commission in order to “test the waters” on which way Spain’s political parties will be inclined to vote when a binding legislative initiative is introduced, expected for some time next year.

In 2015, the PP majority in Congress reversed several advances for women’s reproductive rights granted five years earlier in legislation passed by Congress during the Socialist administration of then-President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Among the changes in the PP’s 2015 amendments to the law were the denial of the rights of confidentiality and patient autonomy to 16- and 17-year-olds seeking voluntary interruption of pregnancy, rights which are currently still afforded to adult women seeking abortions in Spain.

► Read More in Spanish at El Diario, El Mundo and …

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