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article imageVideo: FEMEN shakes up Spanish Parliament in support of abortion

By Anne Sewell     Oct 9, 2013 in World
Madrid - A group of women from the FEMEN movement bared their breasts in the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on Wednesday, upsetting the proceedings. They made their point before being forcibly removed.
Shortly prior to the rather serious parliamentary proceedings on Wednesday morning, the women sneaked into the public viewing gallery without anyone knowing.
As Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardón started his address to Parliament, three of them took off their tops and started shouting “abortion is sacred”. They also had this phrase written across their naked bodies.
As can be seen in the video and the photo above, one of the protesters climbed up on to a gallery railing and wrapped her arms around a pillar, while shouting and waving.
FEMEN have been planning various moves in Spain for some time in a campaign to "fight patriarchy" in Spain. Their members told the Spanish media in August that they were taking part in what they called their "summer training camp" in their Paris headquarters, learning "techniques of civil disobedience."
Their first protest is against stricter abortion laws that Spain's Partido Popular (PP) government is planning to introduce to Parliament in October.
When ruling Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy came into power in 2011, he promised to change a more liberal abortion law passed by the previous Socialist government the year before.
The 2010 abortion law allows abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, or up to 22 weeks if the foetus is deformed. Both Rajoy's conservative PP and the Roman Catholic Church are strongly opposed to this.
What has really upset the FEMEN protesters is that the government appears to want to return Spain to the earlier 1985 law. That law only allowed decriminalized abortion in case of rape, deformation of the foetus or in the case of serious psychological or physical risks to the mother.
The FEMEN protesters were able to continue their protest for three minutes before they were forcibly removed.
As the women were removed by security guards, they were applauded by members of left-wing party Izquierda Unida.
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