Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy withdraws a change of an abortion law that would have made Spain one of the most difficult countries in Europe to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Sarah Toms reports.
It was protests like these that forced the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to drop proposals to change the abortion law. Opposition was widespread over plans to limit abortion to cases of rape or where the mother's health is at serious risk. It wasn't just street protests -- there was also dissent in Rajoy's Popular Party, despite the bill being part of its election programme in 2011. Finally, the prime minister agreed to scrap the reforms which would have made Spain one of the most difficult countries in Europe to have a termination. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY SAYING: "As president of the government, I have taken the most sensible decision. We will continue to work on this issue. But we cannot have a law that will change within the first 30 seconds of a new government entering power. I think there are some things that can be done in the future, seeking more support. We will continue to work on this matter." The announcement was followed by the resignation of the Justice Minister, who was architect of the bill. Instead the government said it aims to stop 16 and 17-year-olds having an abortion without parental consent. Abortion is a divisive issue in this mainly Catholic country. And although there were large protests against the abortion law throughout the year, here in Madrid, thousands of people attended this anti abortion demonstration at the weekend.