Interesting piece in the Los Angeles Times about the resurgence of abortion as a public debate in Italy and Spain (funny they don’t mention Britain – I guess it didn’t fit in given that it’s not a Roman Catholic country).
In Italy and Spain, two of Europe’s most predominantly Roman Catholic countries, opponents of abortion are finding new ways to challenge laws and use the issue to influence national elections, a generation after most citizens thought the issue was resolved.
Spurred on by the church, antiabortion activists have staged demonstrations and circulated petitions, gathering thousands of names. On the other side of the debate, thousands of women have turned out in demonstrations to demand that laws allowing the termination of pregnancy be protected.
When it came to power four years ago, Spain’s socialist government made liberal social reform a hallmark of its administration and promised legislation to expand access to abortion.
But by the time it ran for reelection last month, it had dropped abortion from its platform as Spanish bishops all but directed citizens to vote against candidates who didn’t oppose it.
In the campaign for Italian elections next Sunday, abortion has emerged unexpectedly as a major issue. One particularly vocal political figure, a conservative newspaper editor and former government minister, is running for parliament on a single point: ending abortion.