Spain may be floundering economically and its birth rate one of the lowest in Europe, but that has not stopped its government passing a law to eliminate more unplanned and imperfect babies before birth.

Last week the Senate approved a sweeping new law that, in the name of women’s rights, allows abortion without restrictions up to 14 weeks and gives 16- and 17-year-olds the right to have abortions without parental consent, AP reports. Abortions are also allowed in the first 22 weeks of pregnancy if the fetus has a serious or incurable disease.

The Socialist-led government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero went ahead with this liberalisation in spite of huge rallies against it, the opposition of the Catholic Church, and polls that showed the nation was split down the middle over the issue.

But after adding liberal abortion to quick divorce and gay rights in the school curriculum, Zapatero probably feels he and Spain are now fully paid up members of the European secularist club.


Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet