THE leader of the opposition conservative Partido Popular (PP) has called for abortions to be made illegal with some exceptions in order to bolster Spain’s stagnating population.
Pablo Casado said he was in favour of returning to the 1985 abortion law. The law, passed under Felipe Gonzalez’s government, banned abortions except in cases of rape, the mother facing risks to physical and mental health and the foetus being deformed.
Casado said Spain was facing a “demographic winter” which posed a threat to its welfare system, including funding pensions.
“If we want to finance pensions and health we must think about how to have more children and not how we abort them,” Casado said.
Irene Montero, a senior lawmaker with the leftist Podemos, said women in Spain would not move one step back on their right to abortion.
“If Pablo Casado intends to govern against us he will end up like Gallardon, out,” she said in reference to a former justice minister who resigned after proposing abortion restrictions.
Las mujeres no vamos a permitir ni un paso atrás en nuestros derechos. El aborto lo es. Todo el que en la España democrática ha intentado atacar nuestra libertad como mujeres fue derrotado. Si @pablocasado_ pretende gobernar España contra nosotras acabará como Gallardón: fuera.
— Irene Montero (@Irene_Montero_) February 7, 2019
Spain currently provides abortions free within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy under a law passed in 2010.
Recent figures from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics showed that 179,794 babies were born in Spain during the first half of last year, the lowest since records began in 1941.