SRHR

Who’s going to the party?

Today and tomorrow, to the shame of Spain, a reputedly 21st century European country, an antichoice conference, organised by the Popular Party (Spain’s governing conservative party) will be held in the capital city of Madrid. The conference is called “The International Seminar on the Right to Life” and  Madrid’s mayoress Ana Botella (wife of creepy ex-conservative PM José María Aznar) will be welcoming attendees with open arms via an official reception.

Abortion is murder, yadda yadda yadda…

Parliamentarians, professors of philosophy and of genetics, ex-MPs, ex-European commissioners, amongst others, are just some of the attendees at this antichoice knees up, designed to provide Gallardón’s antiabortion bill with international scientific and legislative authority and credibility. This jolly was intended to end with an official statement, to be known as “The Madrid Declaration”, which would state that abortion is murder, yadda yadda yadda… However, and to the surprise of the attendees, Gallardón, the rising star of the antiabortion movement, withdrew from the conference at the very last minute due to some report or another on the bill not being ready.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

Spanish daily, El Diario, has put together a little collection of some of the more memorable phrases of the conference’s attendees. Unsurprisingly, all of them are antichoice, against LGBT rights and are all for the traditional nuclear family. Over the next few days, we shall be introducing you to them. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer, as they say… Today we start with Cristina Reyes, onetime winner of “Queen of Guayaquil”:

Cristina Reyes, winner of “Queen of Guayaquil”

Cristina Reyes is an ex-beauty contest winner and now an Ecuadorian MP. She happily cites on her CV her achievements in the beauty pageant world, including her participation in “Miss International World”. Referring to abortion legislation in her country in 2008, Ms Reyes asked: “Do we want a country in which thousands of children are murdered?” She has also said: “The right to choose justifies a total crime”.

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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!

 

Tell Me Another…

On Friday,  the Spanish antiabortion draft bill, know unofficially as Gallardón’s Law, and officially as The organic law for the protection of the life of the conceived and the rights of the pregnant woman (whatever), will be taken to parliament.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Thousands upon thousands of people have marched the streets not just in Spain but all over Europe, North and South America time and time again to protest this law since it was announced in December 2013. Prochoice campaigners worldwide have tirelessly told Gallardón and his government that women should be the ones to decide if and when they want to become mothers. Spanish citizens the length and the breadth of the country also responded to surveys saying they were not happy with the proposed abortion reform. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are just two of the international organisations that have publicly condemned the reform. But did Gallardón listen? Of course he didn’t. He replied by saying that “no insult” would deter him in his mission to protect the rights of the unborn.

And now an article in The Irish Times, citing government sources via the Spanish daily El País, claims that the Spanish government has bowed to the pressure of the protests by implementing changes in the bill that will allow women to terminate pregnancies when the foetus presents abnormalities. There may be some gullible enough to believe Rajoy’s government, firstly, cares one iota about what its citizens want, secondly, has genuinely listened to the voices of the people and, finally, is willing to negotiate the terms of the reform. Indeed, prochoice campaigners and activists saw this concession coming along for miles. It was always Gallardón’s strategy to present the bill in its most radical form and to then eliminate its more controversial aspects thus appeasing less radical Partido Popular voters and members within the party and fooling some into believing he’s not such a bad chap after all. With headlines such as this: Spain’s abortion legislation ‘changed after protests’, Gallardón’s ploy seems to be having its intended effect.

BERLIN, MARSEILLE, MONTEVIDEO, VIENNA, LISBON, MADRID…

…are all protesting against Spanish abortion reform this Friday 27th of June. Join us in London too to let the Spanish government know that we stand by the women and girls of Spain, that we will not back down until abortion is fully decriminalized and a safe and legal option for every one of them.

 

 

 

Déjà Vu for Spanish Women

This photograph is doing the rounds on Twitter.

Déjá Vu for Spanish women who are seeing their rights eroded again

I don’t know who it is by (and I will be happy to credit or remove, if they contact us) but it was accompanied by the following statement in Spanish and which I translated into English:

Spanish women protested abortion laws, saw their daughters protest abortion laws,  and now they are seeing their granddaughters protest abortion laws.

History repeating itself once more.

As the Bill Proceeds through Parliament…

This Friday (27th of June), the Spanish antiabortion draft bill, known as Gallardón’s law after the minister whose brainchild it is, will begin its process through the Spanish parliament.

Follow My Belly is Mine on Twitter to keep up to date with latest events, developments and our actions in London over the summer to protest this law.

My Belly is Mine at the Southbank, aided by a British bobby

My Belly is Mine at the Southbank, aided by a British bobby

My Belly is Mine in the Spanish Press

My Belly is Mine campaigner Cristina Ríos was interviewed by Patricia Burgo for El Diario Norte in Spain.

In this article (in Spanish), Cristina points out that most My Belly is Mine campaigners have no personal links with Spain, however, they view the antiabortion bill as part of a wider assault on reproductive rights within the European Union and, as feminists, consider it essential to stop the erosion of women’s rights wherever they occur and regardless of national borders.

Cristina Ríos addresses the crowd at a My Belly is Mine demo at the Southbank in London on 1 February 2014

Cristina Ríos addresses the crowd at a My Belly is Mine demo at the Southbank in London on 1 February 2014

Action Alert!

This Friday 27th of June, the Spanish antiabortion law will hit parliament. Please join us at the Spanish Embassy that day to protest against this regressive, misogynist law. Here’s the link with more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/504212323013806/