Carlos Polo, Director of the Latin American office of Population Research Institute (PRI), reported on the demonstration which took place outside the headquarters of Spain's ruling political party, the Partido Popular last week. Dressed as gorillas, members of the Asociación Derecho a Vivir (Right to Life Association)demanded to know why apes were granted the right to life and freedom from experimentation when human beings are denied the same protections.
"The government is deaf to the voice of millions of Spanish who already asked to repeal the abortion law,” the "gorilla" proclaimed while thumping his chest. “But perhaps Rajoy is more responsive to the call of the wild.”
In June, 2008, the environmental committee in the Spanish parliament approved resolutions urging the country to comply with the Great Apes Project, founded in 1993, which argues that "non-human hominids" should enjoy the right to life, freedom and not to be tortured. This includes unborn apes upon which no abortion and subsequent experimentation is permitted.
Ignacio Arsuaga, president of the Association, believes unborn humans deserve the same protection and organized the demonstration to pressure the Prime Minister "to fulfill his campaign's promise to protect human life from conception and to support motherhood and family. . . It just doesn’t make any sense that the law protects the lives of several animal species and yet does not apply to human beings."
He concluded that "There is nothing more savage and inhuman than abortion."
Arsuaga says that protecting human life from the moment of conception would enjoy support from a majority of Spain's population. Nearly a half-million people have already signed a petition demanding repeal of the nation's abortion law.
The law currently allows abortion on demand during the first trimester and abortion during later stages for medical risks such as risk to the health of the mother or due to fetal deformities.
"Because of this law 300 unborn babies die violent deaths every day in Spain—more than a hundred thousand a year—and that is something that a democratic society cannot afford," Arsuaga said.
Spanish Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón has promised to present an abolition of abortion bill before the end of March.
The PRI is working with a number of Latin American leaders and urging them to take similar action.
"We have no objection to protecting the lives of endangered primate species," Polo writes, "as long as human lives are protected as well."
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