Pro-Choice protesters removed from Spanish Parliament

October 12, 2013

417747-femen-topless-spanish-parliamentWhile Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon was giving a speech on proposed abortion reforms three pro-abortion activists, associated with the feminist group Femen, staged a protest in the public gallery of Madrid’s parliament. The three women who had written “abortion is sacred” on their chests while chanting the phrase were taken into police custody. Lara Alcazar, one of the protesters and the leader of Femen in Spain, was released, but is expected to receive a court summons. The penalties for staging an unauthorized protest in parliament range from fines up to a year in prison. The two other women were reported to be French. One activist was wrapping herself around the pillar while another balanced on the railing of the gallery before all three were taken away by ushers.

Mr. Ruiz-Gallardon is leading Spanish abortion law reforms to make them more restrictive. Currently, abortion is available until the 14th week of pregnancy and up to 22 weeks if the fetus is deformed. These laws were passed in 2010 by the previous Socialist government.

The protesters’ actions drew some applause from a few opposition deputies. Mr. Ruiz-Gallardon said the protest was a “total lack of respect for popular sovereignty, as embodied in Congress”.

A video of the protest can be found here. Read a full article here.