Spain's largest party wants exclusion zones around abortion centres

28-05-2021

Southern Europe

Marc Derœux, CNE.news

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers a speech during a Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) campaign meeting. photo AFP, Oscar del Pozo

The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) proposes establishing exclusion zones around abortion clinics for pro-life citizens, news site Actuall reports.

According to the PSOE, it is necessary to "penalize harassment in women who go to clinics for the termination of pregnancy" by incorporating a new section in the law.

In the proposal, the PSOE suggests prison sentences of three months to one year or community service from thirty-one to eighty days for individuals who "harass or restrict the freedom of a woman who intends to exercise her power and right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy".

To motivate the bill, PSOE characterized the “harassment” of the pro-life activists at abortion clinics as “approaching women with photographs, model fetuses, and proclamations against abortion … the objective is for the women to change their decision through coercion, intimidation, and harassment.”, writes the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

The new legislation would not only limit the physical presence in the proximity of abortion centres but would also impact people who "promote" or "favour" concentrations of people in the surroundings of the centres.

According to CNA, one outreach the bill could ban is Life Ambulance, which offers “a free ultrasound in front of the abortion clinic to show the mother the reality of her child and the heartbeat of her baby.” Life Ambulance has launched an online petition to oppose the bill, saying it “violates the right to freedom of speech, the right to demonstrate and the mother's right to know the reality of abortion.” Still, the socialist party considers it "essential to guarantee a safety zone” around abortion clinics.

The PSOE is the largest party in Spain. Currently, it holds 108 seats out of the 350 seats in the Congreso de los Diputados, the House of Representatives.

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