SPAIN’S Justice Minister, the mastermind behind the country’s now abandoned abortion reforms, has announced his resignation.
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon was the driving force behind the highly controversial reforms, put forward by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s ruling PP party in December 2013.
But the plans have now been abandoned, allegedly due to the approach of next year’s general elections.
“I have come here to announce my resignation,” said Ruiz-Gallardon. “I believe it is my duty to do so given that I haven’t been able to turn the [abortion] bill into a law.”
He added that scrapping the abortion reforms – one of many promises made by the PP in its 2011 election manifesto – will come as a disappointment to their voters.
The proposed abortion reform would have drastically limited access to abortion, which would only have been allowed if the pregnancy threatened the health of the mother, the foetus was severely deformed, or the pregnancy was the result of rape.
Many of the thousands who protested the reforms across Europe will be happy to see Ruiz-Gallardon’s exit, particularly those who burnt an effigy of him at a protest in Madrid, just days after the bill was proposed.
Ruiz-Gallardon will not just be leaving the Justice Ministry, but also the PP, Parliament and politics.
“I’m not leaving to take up any other political post. After being Mayor of Madrid, First Minister of Madrid and now Justice Minister, my political life is over,” he added.
The 53-year-old Rafael Catala Polo – until now secretary of state for infrastructure, transport and housing – has been appointed to replace him.