Spain’s parliament has voted to outlaw abortions in the first country in Europe to do so.
Abortion was previously banned in Spain under the “law of life” passed in 2010.
In March, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Spain’s law violated the right to life of a woman, and was unconstitutional.
In a new report, Amnesty International says the legislation has made abortion illegal in Spain, even though it is not explicitly mentioned in Spain’s constitution.
In the report, the organization says the law also violates Spain’s constitutional rights to equality, protection of privacy, and freedom of expression.
“Spain’s new abortion law, which was passed on March 3rd, 2015, is a devastating blow to the lives of thousands of women who need abortion services,” said Marie-France Gourlay, Amnesty’s deputy director for Europe.
“As Spain’s abortion rate has fallen over the past decade, the new law has forced many women into unsafe and sometimes impossible situations, including in some cases where they need to travel to the United States for abortion services.
Spain has a long history of stigmatizing women seeking abortions, and now the Spanish government is attempting to do the same with its latest draconian anti-choice law.”
The Spanish government’s plan to enact the law is one of a number of measures aimed at preventing abortions in Spain.
The country already bans abortions in cases of rape and incest, and in all but the most extreme cases of a serious health problem, such as a brain tumor or severe spinal cord injury.
In 2014, the Spanish parliament voted to extend these laws to cover cases of severe physical or mental illness, including epilepsy and schizophrenia.
The new law would effectively ban abortion in cases where the life of the mother is at risk.
In February, the government announced that it was extending the ban to cases of abortion that are “cruel and unusual,” but only for the first six weeks of pregnancy.
The government has also declared that women are exempt from the ban in cases when the life and health of the fetus is at serious risk.
“The Spanish government has taken drastic measures to make abortion harder,” said Mireia Gallego, director of the Reproductive Rights Clinic at the University of Madrid.
“In practice, these measures include imposing severe restrictions on women’s access to safe abortion services, restricting women’s freedom of movement, and restricting access to abortion in a very vague way that is completely unjustified.”
Spain’s new anti-choicers will likely use this law to argue that they are in favor of women’s rights, Gallegos said.
“But it’s really the government that is the real violator here,” she added.
The Spanish law passed with the support of the center-right Popular Party, which is part of the government.
“Today, Spain’s center-left coalition government has made its intentions clear: it intends to expand its ban on abortion in all cases to cover all cases,” said Gallegoes report.
The center-of-the-European Union center-Right party, the Socialists, has also voted to expand the law.
In September, a coalition of center-Left parties and the Greens formed a group called the Center for Reproductive Justice (CDR) to lobby the Spanish state for the expansion of abortion.
The party says it will use its “broad support in parliament to convince the government to amend the law.”