Coordinadora feminista

Gallardón backtracks (or rather, is told to backtrack)

Last Friday we protested at the Spanish Embassy in London against the abortion bill.  The date was June 27th and we chose that day to coincide with a multitude o f protests in Spain and abroad, taking the lead from the Feminist Federation in Madrid. June 27th was the day that the antiabortion bill was to begin its parliamentary process. On the day of the protest, we were informed the bill’s entry to parliament had been delayed a week. The bill’s progress to parliament had been postponed by the government to specifically coincide with the foul antichoice conference held in the Spanish capital today and tomorrow. Despite this unexpected announcement, protests worldwide went ahead, as did ours, last Friday, and more demos are scheduled in Spain this week and elsewhere to overlap with the antiabortion conference. We ourselves have something special planned in London for today and tomorrow but more about that later…

Gallardón’s lack of attendance at the Madrid antichoice conference is major coup for prochoice campaigners

Gallardón was scheduled to attend the antichoice conference to bang on about how great his bill is. But to everyone’s surprise Gallardón has pulled out at the very last minute from programme. The reason being, if we are to believe his spokesperson, that official reports on the draft bill are still pending and therefore Gallardón has not had time to edit the last draft and determine its final details. The Minister is apparently unwilling to do a presentation on an unsettled bill in front of his antichoice cronies.

Gallardón develops stage fright.

Gallardón is not exactly known for his self-doubt, in fact, he is known for quite the opposite as last year has shown: he has defiantly clung to his bill, unperturbed in the face of relentless criticism, steadfast in his belief that his law is a morally correct one. We have to presume that Gallardón’s present hesitancy is due to something other than a crisis of confidence. The Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, forever the coward, prefers controversial issues to be resolved as quietly as possible. Well, this was never going to happen, what with socialists in the lower house deliberately scheduling a prochoice convention to go head to head with the antichoice convention. Indeed, Spanish media had their tents pitched up and their popcorn ready for the face off. Gallardón’s sudden withdrawal from the antichoice meeting has, as one newspaper put it, clearly “deflated the soufflé”.

Keep fighting, keep spreading the word

But what does this mean for us? It means that we keep fighting: as the bill’s controversy continues to gain international attention, the Spanish government’s embarrassment over this barbaric law grows, whilst Rajoy and other members of the Partido Popular get ever more uncomfortable and impatient with Alberto’s political gambling. Gallardón’s lack of attendance at the Madrid antichoice conference is therefore a major coup for prochoice campaigners. Don’t think that little retweet or your presence at a demo don’t count, because they do. Help Spanish women defeat the bill: spread the word about My Belly is Mine and join the campaign!


Police Brutality at Madrid Prochoice Protest

My Belly is Mine protested peacefully at the Spanish Embassy on Friday, the 27th of June, 2014 against the Spanish antiabortion law. We had taken the lead from the Spanish Federation of Feminist Organizations, also known as Coordinadora Feminista, which had announced that it was protesting against the law in front of the Spanish Ministry of Justice, in Madrid, that day. The location for their protest was apposite as the main force behind this unjust law is Spain’s Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón. The date was also appropriate to begin with, as the government had announced that the draft bill would be entering parliament on the 27th. At the very last minute, however, Gallardón postponed the bill’s entry to parliament  to coincide with the antichoice conference in Madrid. Nevertheless, the protests around Spain and in Madrid, not to mention abroad (Berlin, Vienna, Lisbon, Marseille, Burgundy, Montevideo…), went ahead.

Unfortunately, towards the end of the protest in Madrid, as protesters were leaving, tension erupted between police and protestors. Here’s a video that was taken by witness to the incident, Mario Munera. It’s clear that Spanish police were more than heavy-handed in their approach to controlling the crowds:

In support of our fellow activists in Spain, who should be free to protest and defend the rights of their countrywomen, we would like to express our condemnation of the unnecessary brutality of the Spanish police.