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Protests greet abortion conference in Spain

First Posted 00:21:00 10/24/2010

SEVILLE?Hundreds of people shouting ?murderers? demonstrated on Saturday at the site of an international conference of abortion rights proponents in the southern Spanish city of Seville.

The Netherlands-based International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates (FIAPAC), which says it fights ?for the right to abortion for every woman,? held its ninth congress in Seville on Friday and Saturday.

?Seville is not the center for an international meeting of murderers, it is a city full of color and life,? the organisation Right to Life, which helped organize the protest under the slogan ?Seville, capital of life?, said in a statement.

?We do not want to mingle with butchers, we do not want them at our sites, sharing our tables in bars, with our children in the park or sleeping in the beds that we offer our guests... They are not welcome,? it said of those attending the conference in a city hotel.

The protesters, who included people of all ages, carried banners reading ?No to abortion, Yes to life? and ?Mummy, thank for having allowed to be born,? and figures of babies.

When conference participants left the hotel they were greeted by shouts of ?murderers.?

The protest comes just two weeks before Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Spain, where the Roman Catholic Church has condemned a new more liberal abortion law passed by the Socialist government this year.

The law allows abortion on demand up to the 14th week of pregnancy and up to the 22nd week if there is a risk to the mother?s health or if the fetus has serious problems.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Madrid in a mass protest a year ago to condemn the reforms.

Last year around 115,000 abortions were carried out in Spain, according to the health ministry.

The vast majority took place in private clinics and were justified on the grounds that the pregnancy posed a ?psychological risk? for the health of the woman.

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