The Minister for Equality, Irene Monterohas closed his official visit to the US this Friday with the aim of “strengthening international feminist alliances”, presenting the new reform of the Government’s abortion law and discussing aspects of “reproductive rights”.
After passing through Washington, Montero has spent the last two days in New York, where she has held meetings with feminist organizations, including a meeting with Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women.
The visit comes shortly after the US Supreme Court ruled to strip constitutional protections for abortion, which had been in place for nearly five decades.
In this sense, Montero expressed his concern about the “reduction of rights that the Supreme Court decision entails” (the ruling returns the power to regulate abortion to the states: a dozen have already prohibited its practice with hardly any exceptions and it is expected that by least half of the country prohibits or strongly restricts it in the near future) and boasted of the opposite path taken in Spain with the new abortion law approved this spring.
The rule maintains the deadlines for the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (permitted until the 14th week of gestation and admitted for medical reasons until the 21st), but broadens its access, including abortion for minors under 16 and 17 years of age without parental authorization.
Spain, world “reference” of abortion
“They consider us a reference in the advancement of women’s rights,” Montero said in a brief meeting with the press after a visit to the Center for Reproductive Rights of New York, an international organization based in New York. The minister defended that “exporting our experience so that other women live better is an honor and a pride”.
On the current regulation of abortion in Spain, he assured that the Government has no intention of extending the deadlines for abortion: “The consensus of 2010 -he said about the wording of the current law- is a good consensus and we have not made any modifications” . He does not consider it for the future either: “At the moment we are with the current abortion law.”
Montero framed the ruling of the US Supreme Court on abortion in that “we are in a democratic wave that has a reaction, and the reactionaries are organizing themselves in different deep powers of the state in several countries, also in the media, and they are using all its power springs so that we go back in democratic rights». Those reactionaries, she added, focus their attack “on women’s rights, in particular sexual and reproductive rights, and also on affective-sexual education and on LGBTI rights.”
Redirect public spending and no more on weapons
The visit to the US has also allowed the Minister for Equality not to be in Spain during the NATO summit held in Madrid, which has made our country “at the center of international politics”, according to the Government of which Montero is part.
United We Can, the party to which Montero belongs and which governs in coalition with the PSOE, has made its discomfort clear with this historic event, in which Pedro Sanchez has shown its commitment to the Atlantic alliance and has confirmed its plan to raise defense spending to 2% of the budget over the next eight years.
Asked about the summit and its consequences for the Government of Spain, Montero assured that his priority is to “reorient public spending in these budgets to personal security, to social security”, “a feminist reorientation of public spending”. Before the united front that NATO tried to show before Russia, the minister said that “the best alternative for the world is the defense of peace.” And, on military spending, she marked a clear distance from Sánchez: «We need more money in health, education, conciliation or dependency, and no more money on tanks or guns. That is the position we will defend.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism