The antiabortion draft bill, known as Gallardón’s law, has eventually been revised and edited by the Ministry of Justice and is now ready to be submitted to the Spanish parliament, according to a report by Europa Press. The text is awaiting the approval of the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, after which it will be passed to the Cabinet.
As we reported on this blog, the draft bill had been unexpectedly postponed earlier this month. The bill was due to be ratified twice during the first half of July. The first attempt on the 4th of July was designed to coincide with an antichoice conference in Madrid. Justice Minister Gallardón’s surprising last-minute absence from the conference and the delay to which the bill was subjected for no apparent reason, led some party members to believe that the law would not be passed.
The bill’s controversy amongst the Spanish population is such that it is viewed as a serious obstacle in the PP’s electoral campaign for the next general election in 2015 and one of the main reasons the bill should be postponed until well after the 2015 pre-campaign. The bill has prompted discord even within the ranks of the PP (Partido Popular-Spain’s conservative ruling party) itself.
According to Europa Press, sources within the PP have stated that they were actively involved in the bill’s delay in July and would prefer its presentation in parliament to be postponed for as long as possible. They will attempt to drag out the bill’s parliamentary process as much as they can.
An electoral pledge
On the other hand, the antiabortion draft bill was one of the PP’s electoral pledges and it has many supporters within the party. Some members propose an even more extreme version of the draft law which would mean abortion being banned even in cases of rape or severe foetal deformity. Whilst this radical group within the party is willing to concede that such a bill would never be approved and they accept the draft law in its current state, they have however vouched to rebel against party leaders if Gallardón’s bill is not ratified at some point.
Bill to be approved day before summer recess
Following the bill’s failure to reach parliament on both the 4th and 11th of July, other sources have assured the bill will be with the Cabinet before the end of the month. The 1st of August is touted as the preferred date, as it will be the last Cabinet meeting before summer recess and therefore a “perfect day” to ratify the bill as Spain will predominantly be on holiday.