The already delayed parliamentary process of Gallardón’s antiabortion bill may be halted once more, according to Spanish government sources. The bill, scheduled to enter parliament on 27th of June, was delayed until the 4th of July to coincide with the antichoice conference in Madrid. Feminist organizations protested on both dates and the intervening week in Spain and abroad. Gallardón’s unexpected absence from the antichoice conference prompted the government to confirm the draft bill is still awaiting official reports from various consultative bodies. Furthermore, once these reports have been completed, the draft bill will then be sent to the Spanish Council of State, the supreme consultative body of the Spanish government, which only advises parliament on the most serious matters and legislation.
This means that the bill’s parliamentary process could be extended for months due to the complex procedure the Council adheres to. Spanish feminist and prochoice organisations have cautiously welcomed this news. As Justa Montero, spokesperson for Madrid Feminist Assembly explains: “If the bill has not entered parliament within six months, the deadline will have passed and they must wait for another legislative period to begin…and then we shall see.” Montero hopefully added that “in 2009 the Council of State unanimously approved the report recommending the 2010 abortion law“. The Ministry of Justice, on the other hand, has stated that the Council of State’s report may not be absolutely necessary for the draft bill to be debated in parliament, thus speeding up once more its legislative progress.
This news leaves prochoice campaigners on tenterhooks, as it is no guarantee that the draft bill will not eventually be passed.