Congress penalizes harassment of women who abort





All groups in Congress, except the PP and Vox, have supported the law that will criminally punish those who harass women who go to a clinic to voluntarily interrupt their pregnancy, with which the initiative will now be processed in the Senate.

The majority of the Plenary Session of the Congress of Deputies has given its approval to the bill promoted by the PSOE that modifies the Penal Code to penalize the harassment of women and men. clinic workers where abortions are performed.

The norm will punish those who congregate at the doors of abortion clinics and harass and restrict the freedom of women with a prison sentence of three months to one year or with work for the benefit of the community from 31 to 80 days.

In addition, during its parliamentary process, the groups have agreed that this type of harassment can be prosecuted without being an express complaint from the woman is necessary who has suffered.

The PSOE criticizes the PP for voting with Vox and the ‘popular’ point out “ideological bias”

Laura Berja, the socialist deputy in charge of defending the proposal in parliament, has harshly criticized the PP for its rejection of the text and has accused it of having chosen, once again, together with Vox “the wrong side”.

Both parties have been opposed from the beginning to the initiative against which they presented individual amendments to the totality that were rejected.

From the PP, Teresa Angulo has insisted that the initiative has a “clear ideological bias” that “attempts” against tolerance and freedom, in such a way that it does not intend to solve a real problem, but rather to impede the rights of assembly and expression. “They don’t want to classify harassment, but restrict by prior censorship the right of expression, something that the Constitution prohibits,” said Angulo.

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For her part, Lourdes Méndez, a Vox parliamentarian, has accused the PSOE of “defending abortion businessmen and not women.” They also maintain that this change in the criminal code goes against the constitution because “it does not respect freedom of expression.” The group led by Santiago Abascal has already assured that it will appeal the measure before the Constitutional Court.

The PP doubts the constitutionality of the norm and Vox will take it to the TC

The Popular Party, after meeting this Thursday in the Upper House with representatives of anti-abortion associations, has announced that they will study filing an appeal of unconstitutionality before the TC.

“Studies indicate that it is not constitutional. We will move forward with all the measures we can”, said the PP senator Javier Puente at a press conference in the Upper House, in which he has remarked that he prefers “to be in jail than in the loss of liberties”.

For his part, the senator of Vox Jacobo González-Robatto, in that same press conference and after meeting with the associations, has assured that his formation will go to all possible instances, including the Constitutional, considering that the future norm is a “negligence”.

Both senators have agreed that the proposed socialist law, which modifies the Penal Code, “restricts” individual freedoms such as those of expression or information.

Unlike the PP and Vox, the rest of the parliamentary groups that have taken the floor have applauded the proposal.

“Prayer is not freedom of expression if the purpose it pursues is to point out and coerce”, said the deputy of United We Can Martina Velarde, who has assured that when a woman decides to have an abortion she has thought a lot about it because it is a decision “tremendously hard and difficult”, so that encounter a “horde of fundamentalist”.

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For her part, the ERC deputy Pilar Vallugera has rejected the arguments of the PP and Vox, since she has insisted that whoever gathers in front of the clinicss are “frenzied” who with their actions intimidate women, while Pilar Calvo, from the Plural Group, has also applauded the approval of the text.

From Citizens, the deputy Sara Giménez, has warned that women have already given many explanations and have suffered “a lot of inequality”. “It’s fine now,” he said.

Anti-abortion organizations say the law “will not put a stop” to their action

The Assembly for Life representative, Jaime Mayor Oreja, has denounced that the rule responds to “an unhealthy obsession with implanting the culture of death” and it is “disproportionate” because “it abuses what a modification of the Penal Code entails.”

For her part, the founder of Juan Pablo II Rescuers, Marta Velarde, has assured that a future approval of the law “will not put a stop” to her action in abortion centers. “We are happy to help babies and, above all, women,” he added.

Marquees that encourage “praying” in front of the clinics

This measure comes in the midst of the controversy caused by the advertising campaign in marquees launched by the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP) that encourages to “pray” before the abortion clinics.

A dozen city councils decided to remove the controversial campaign from marquees and advertising media, considering that it violates women’s rights, although others, such as Madrid and Córdoba, are going to maintain it.

The controversial posters, with the slogan “Praying in front of abortion clinics is great”, were placed in 250 stands in 33 cities, in response to this proposed law.

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Abortion law reform

This law is one more step to guarantee the right to abortion while waiting for the Ministry of Equality to finalize the draft of the reform of this law that seeks to ensure the “accessibility, gratuity and territorial equity” in the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, an objective that was included in the public consultation opened by the department headed by Irene Montero.

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Montero has said on several occasions that the draft would be ready by the end of December, but for now the details of the text are not known, in which Equality was committed to including two forms of violence against women that have not been recognized as such until now: obstetric violence and surrogacy.

In addition to including comprehensive sex education with a gender focus at all stages, the draft, as Equality has stated on several occasions, will eliminate the need for parental consent that is required of girls in 16 and 17 year olds who want an abortion, a requirement introduced by the PP government in 2015


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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