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Monday, October 1, 2018

Parallels between Falange Fascists and US Fascists -- Abortion

Someone on Twitter was comparing the Europeans and the USA on abortion. He claimed:

“why is there such a national obsession with abortion?”

Well it is not entirely true that this is only an issue in the United States

This is part of a series:
Parallels between Falangists and US Fascists

Abortion and Falangism

Abortion was also a subject the Fascist Spanish Falange obsessed about too. Banning abortion, or rather continuing the existing ban, was part of the Francoist Falangist fascist program in Spain in the 20s and 30s. Abortion was only legalized in 1985 there & still is restrictive. Thus women's rights were among those rights under violent attack in the 1930s. In 2009 under Zapatero they relaxed the restrictive 1984 law, experiencing massive opposition from the Right:

“that more than 1 million met in Madrid's Plaza del Sol as part of the “Every Life Matters” campaign. Protesting under the banner, "Por la vida, la mujer, la maternidad" ("For life, women and motherhood"), the crowd rallied against the proposed relaxing of the current abortion law, one of the harshest in western Europe. The reforms will allow unrestricted termination up to the 14th week of pregnancy and more contentiously, will lower from 18 to 16 the age requiring parental consent. Under the current law, women can only legally obtain an abortion in cases of rape, foetal malformation or when the mother's physical or mental health is at risk.&rduo; [Spain-Guardian]

These issues are still alive. Spain still has only a 14 week window for abortions. This is more strict, even, than that in the USA. They make up for it somewhat by having more clinics where one can be done. The history of rights in Spain is tied to the series of posts I've been doing that were inspired by rereading a biography of Federico Garcia Lorca;

”In September 2008, the remains of Federico García Lorca, one of Spain's greatest poets and an early martyr to the Republican cause, became a pawn in the war for Spain's memories. Shot at the onset of the Spanish civil war, Lorca's name was among the 130,000 on a list of Francisco Franco's victims, composed after an investigation initiated earlier that year by the government. The investigation flew in the face of Spain's 1977 amnesty law, under which no one can be brought to trial for crimes committed under the Franco regime. [Spain-Guardian]

Seeking to investigate, expose and document crimes during the fascist years, is not the same as bringing them to justice. But sometimes “Truth and Reconcilliation” can be a positive thing when people who committed crimes have repented, or are dead. Unfortunately the Right Wing, pretty much world wide, are not willing to repent of past deeds. Indeed when:

“In 2007, the prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's socialist government passed a "historical memory" law, despite howlings from the right. It allowed for the identification of the bodies contained in the many mass graves.” [Spain-Guardian]

The common issue with post Right Wing regimes, is almost always what my Argentine friends called “impunidad!” Impunity! Fascists fail. When they do they leave a mess for more normal people to clean up. That happened in Spain. It happened in Chile. It will happen here. Fascist movements are driven by animus, hatred, fear, and negative emotions. Their leaders are typically amoral "EMAD" Types. Neither fanatics nor con artists want to go to jail. And so when fascists are finally driven out of power, they always get their successors to go along with cries;

“Let's move on!“

But they never really move on. The issues that fired up the Catholic and Falangist revolutionaries of the 20s and 30s still simmer in Spain to this day. A little attenuated, but still hot. The Guardian article from 2009 noted that Zapatero experienced pushback for trying to reform laws on:

  • “legalised gay marriage,”
  • “simplified divorce proceedings,”
  • taken religion out of state schools”
  • & the ultimate: reforming Spain's 1985 abortion law.

He succeeded at the time. In 2010 they got their law. Spain is a much more relaxed place than it was even a few years ago. But to say that Europe doesn't have the same issues that we have, would be a lie.

In 2014:

“Spain’s conservative Popular Party, led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, is pushing a bill that would restrict reproductive rights so severely that many women would be forced to travel abroad to seek abortions or turn to illegal and risky procedures. The bill would allow abortion only in the case of rape or grave danger to the health of the mother as determined by two independent medical professionals.” [NYT article]

The Conservative Popular party sought to roll back Spain's law, not only from where the Socialists had taken it in 2010, past the 1985 law, all the way back to Francoist rules. These changes were resisted in Spain.

The Ghost of the Falang party is still alive.

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