The reform that aims to bring a specific crime to the Penal Code to persecute those who harass women who go to accredited clinics for abortions has passed Congress. The plenary will approve this Thursday the bill, promoted by the PSOE, despite the vote against the PP, UPN and Vox, which has announced that it will appeal the rule to the Constitutional Court because it "undermines freedoms" and "violates the fundamental rights" of anti-abortionists who are located the doors of the centers. The initiative will continue its process now in the Senate.
PP and Vox seek to overturn the reform that penalizes harassment of women who are going to abort
During the debate, the right-wingers used the argument used by the ultra-Catholic lobby, in the midst of the battle against the initiative, under the idea that the reform seeks to persecute those who are against abortion and that the activity carried out by these groups tries to "help" women and "pray" with the aim of "saving lives".
The popular Teresa Angulo has assured that the initiative "attempts against tolerance and freedom" and seeks to "prevent the exercise of rights" to "certain citizens", those who "dare to peacefully exercise their right for issues that inconvenience the interests of the left". The arguments connect with those used by the ultra-Catholic groups that have this initiative as their target and the future reform of the Abortion Law that the Government is preparing, among which is the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP) and its recent anti-abortion campaign on marquees in 33 cities.
The proposal, that the rights They already tried to knock down at the beginning of the process, contemplates prison terms of three months to one year or work for the benefit of the community for those who "restrict or harass the freedom of a woman who intends to exercise her right to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy." And also to the health and administrative staff of the clinics, a change of the original text that the groups have agreed. In addition, they have agreed that it is not necessary for the aggrieved person to file a complaint for the crime to be prosecuted.
For its part, Vox has raised a harsh discourse against the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, which it has equated with "the death of a child" and the "elimination of a human being", in addition to repeatedly referring to the clinics as "medical centers". of extermination". The deputy Lourdes Méndez has announced that her group will appeal the reform to the Constitutional Court because "it threatens freedoms" and "violates the fundamental rights" of those who are located at the doors of the clinics.
The discourse that they "help" women
Both formations have also reduced the activity carried out by these groups. "I trust in the rule of law and that no one is deprived of their liberty for distributing a leaflet on the street," concluded the popular Teresa Angulo. Méndez has assured that these people "give consolation and humanity to women devastated after an abortion" and that most of them "are under pressure, deceived and with an emotional state that prevents them from discerning", so meeting these groups will give them information about "the consequences" of "taking away the child she carries in her womb".
The reality is that these groups, with greater or lesser intensity, not only pray a few meters from the clinics, they also display anti-abortion banners, scold them, give them toy fetuses or approach them with brochures loaded with false and biased information. In Madrid, an ambulance at the gates of the Dator clinic offers ultrasound scans to try to ensure that women who have already made their decision "can know that their child is alive, that their heart is beating" and not abort. When they get one to turn around and not enter the center, that's when they say they have "saved a life."
a broad consensus
Despite the strong opposition from the right, the initiative will have the support of the majority of the chamber, who have highlighted the step forward that the initiative represents to guarantee that women who have already made the decision to abort can do so freely . This is how the PNV spokesman, Mikel Legarda, has put it, who has differentiated between "freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate" and the activity that seeks to "intimidate, hinder and publicly point out people who want to exercise their recognized rights, limiting their ability to act by filling them with a sense of fear, uneasiness or anguish to change their behavior".
"I can't think of anything more contrary to religious freedom than using prayer to restrict the freedom of other people. Prayer is not freedom of expression if the purpose it pursues is to point out and coerce", continued Martina Velarde, deputy of the United We can-In Comú Podem-Galicia in Comú. Sara Giménez, from Ciudadanos, has warned of the speeches "that want to push us back" and "especially when we talk about women's rights", while the ERC deputy, Pilar Vallugera, has made her attempt to " Impose your vision on the world.
Laura Berja, from the PSOE, promoter of the initiative, has expressed herself in this same sense, highlighting its approval as "a success for the entire Parliament and a battle against the extreme right". The reform, which will have a broad consensus, "makes it clear that the rights of women are non-negotiable" and that they must be able to access the voluntary interruption of pregnancy "calm and free."
The reform will continue its way to the Senate, where this Thursday several prominent members of the ultra-Catholic lobby have met at the request of Vox, among them the former popular minister Jaime Mayor Oreja or the psychiatrist Jesús Poveda, promoter of the so-called "rescuers", habitual in clinic doors.