International

Rajoy’s promises

Mariano Rajoy, current Spanish government leader

Mariano Rajoy, current Spanish government leader

It was a promise he wanted to keep even if it means put his country thirty years back.

Some days ago, the Mariano Rajoy conservative government passed a law limiting abortion in Spain drastically. Now, abortion will be possible in few cases (rape, in case of danger for the infant or the mother…) and in a very short time.

This law provoked the anger of the pro-choice associations and the socialist opposition’s one considering a real and serious attempt to women’s right. On their side, the pro-life associations are glad of the decision made by the Spanish head of government, considering this was a logical measure, the first step to a total ban of abortion in the future. This position was confirmed by the rejection of the Estrella report by the European Parliament some days ago, regarding free-access to information and right to sexuality throughout the European Union.

Achieving such a promise, Mariano Rajoy is looking for lending on a conservative fraction of his electorate who wants to remove the Spain’s socialist legacy, whatever the cost. Indeed, the abortion law was one the most emblematic of the Gonzalez era, making this country one of the most progressive regarding abortion and women rights. Abolishing it, Rajoy wants to ensure a part of his electors who seems to be shattered in traditions even if it means denying some fundamental rights, in these times of economic crisis.

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Pro-life protestors in the streets of Madrid

In fact, this new legislation is just a step to a more conservative turning-point, that’s it can be feared in Spain insofar so as other progressive measures are clearly targeted as the same sex-marriage adopted in 2005 by the Zapatero’s socialist government. In a Spain going deep in the economic uncertainty and faced with the incapacity of Rajoy to find solutions to get his country out, abortion seems to be a pretext to distract attention and find a strong minority (failing to find a clear majority) to get supports even if it means dividing the Spanish society more who seems very shared about this issue.

The thing is to know if this new legislation is going to get an impact on a long term, what some people are clearly questioning, as NGOs considering that abolition of abortion has for only consequences to endanger some women will have not the means to stop their pregnancy (abroad) necessarily, and will have no other possibilities to do it in secret with the expected desolations. In reality, Rajoy succeeded to spit on the face of the feminist associations and give to his country the image of the reactionary State tackling the right of her citizens to dispose of their own body.

Pro-choice activists protesting in the front of the Partido Popular's (Rajoy's party) headquarters

Pro-choice activists protesting in the front of the Partido Popular’s (Rajoy’s party) headquarters

Mariano Rajoy’s initiative is a very bad message for women’s rights and finally reminds that any right is a definitive gain. Although abortion is a pretext used by an unpopular ruler, its abolition is a reminder for those who defend the choice of anyone to dispose his body as he wishes insofar so as they still have to be vigilant, especially in Europe.

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