Despite all the dark age abortion laws pouring out of the US, Spain has made it illegal for pro-life protesters to harass women outside abortion clinics.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez introduced an amendment to the penal code to prevent these people from pressuring women to terminate their pregnancies.
The new legislation states that demonstrators who ‘impede [a woman] from exercising her right to voluntarily interrupt pregnancy’ through ‘bothersome, offensive, intimidating or threatening acts’ will face prison for three to 12 months.
First-time offenders won’t be prosecuted, but they can be ordered to community service.
The ban also prohibits abortion clinic staff members and other health care workers from harassing women about their abortions.
Sanchez and his party are also working on a new law that allows public hospitals to carry out abortion procedures for 16 and 17-year-olds without parental consent.
According to CBS News, while the new law was welcomed by many in the country, thousands of protestors from anti-abortion groups gathered outside Madrid's parliament as the amendment was announced.
Spokesperson Inmaculada Fernandez said: “Praying is not a crime and we will continue to pray and offer our help to all those women who need it so that they can see that abortion is not the only solution.
“More than 6,000 children were born last year thanks to the help of pro-life groups and none of the mothers regretted giving birth.”
According to a 2018 report by the Association of Authorised Abortion Clinics (ACAI), 89 per cent of women reported that while seeking an abortion in Spain, they felt harassed, with 66 per cent stating they felt threatened.
While abortion is legal upon request up to 14 weeks of pregnancy in Spain, The New York Times reported that many doctors refuse to carry out the procedure, referring to themselves as ‘conscientious objectors’.
Last month, Spanish doctor Marta Vigara told France 24 that she was just 17 weeks pregnant when her water broke, and although it was dangerous for her to give birth, doctors refused to provide an abortion because there was still a ‘foetal heartbeat’.
"I arrived at the clinic bleeding, probably because of a detached placenta," she said.
Despite her life being at-risk, the doctors instead directed her to a private clinic.Featured Image Credit: Alamy