Photo: Protest in Madrid (@Laura_KVT)
Thousands of people demonstrated Saturday in Madrid to demand a stop to abortion-law reform, which seeks to change the current length of pregnancy when abortion is legal and limit the procedure to cases of rape or when the mother’s health is in danger.
Those joining in this “Train to Freedom” demonstration also asked for the resignation of Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, in an atmosphere of festive protest.
The idea of demonstrating came from women’s associations in the northern province of Asturias, which were joined by numerous associations, political parties and unions which parted from different provinces around Spain on Friday to arrive in the capital on Saturday.
Protesters began shouting “Gallardon resign” and waved banners with slogans like “Decide to make us free,” “Legal abortion,” and “We decide.”
Elena Valenciano, deputy secretary general of the PSOE, the principal opposition party, warned the ruling Popular Party, or PP, that they could have every single seat in Parliament and in all the regional parliaments of Spain, but they will never be able to make this decision for women.
The lawmaker of the United Left party, Gaspar Llamazares, also rejected the bill, which he scorned as “archaic” and “medieval,” and said it was “an attempt to impose religious dogma on women.”
Later, three delegates from the Asturian associations promoting the demonstration, accompanied by PSOE spokeswoman Soraya Rodriguez, delivered to Parliament a manifesto with the title “Because I Decide.”
The text asks the government to maintain the current law, which establishes the freedom to have an abortion as a woman’s right until the 14th week.
On the other hand, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that the government has already made its decision and recalled that abortion-law reform was submitted for consultation to all the necessary constitutional entities.