Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Minister for Womens Affairs of France said in an interview that a proposal by Spain’s current government to amend abortion law in the latter country would mean taking a step “backwards.” In a message on her Twitter account, she said that “voluntary termination of pregnancy is a fundamental right for women.”
She said that she is “deeply concerned” by a proposal by Spain’s ruling Popular Party to amend the Iberian country’s abortion laws. As presented to Spain’s congress, abortion would remain legal in cases of rape, in case of a fetal defect, or for the sake of the mental or physical health of the mother until the 22nd week of gestation. Since 2010, abortion has been permitted for any reason during the first 14 weeks of gestation. The reform of the law would eliminate this provision.
Vallaud-Bekacem said “It is terrible to see that in a country like Spain, which had become in the last few years the very model for those who fight violence against women…will now see a retreat as to the right to one’s own body.” She said in the interview that the reform to Spain’s abortion law is “disquieting” and evidence that “women’s rights are never a settled matter.”
Vallaud-Belkacen expressed the opinion that women’s rights are under assault not only in Spain, but also Ireland and Poland. While her portfolio includes women’s rights, Vallaud-Belkacen also serves as the spokesperson for France’s Socialist government, led by President Francois Hollande. Last week, she sent a letter to her Spanish counterpart to express her “deep concern” over the move by Spain’s ruling center-right party to amend abortion law. Her fellow French feminists have promised to lend moral and other support to their Spanish colleagues.
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