Europe

Spain politician apologises for abortion vote gaffe

Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon, the Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers" Party Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Sanchez said he was in favour of the rights of women under 18 seeking abortions

A Spanish opposition leader has apologised after accidentally voting in parliament for a proposal on abortion that his own party is against.

Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez pressed the wrong button during the vote on whether to debate a law requiring minors to get parental permission before getting an abortion.

"I deeply regret my error," he said.

The move, proposed by the governing Popular Party (PP), passed easily due to its parliamentary majority.

"I am firm in my commitment to the freedom of women aged under 18. I have always publicly defended it. I apologise for the error," Mr Sanchez tweeted (in Spanish).

He faced ridicule on social media for the gaffe. Some users drew comparisons with Homer Simpson, the US cartoon character who once avoided a nuclear meltdown by guessing which button to press in an emergency.

The PP dropped plans last year to roll back the Socialist party's abortion laws, which allow the procedure to take place in the first 14 weeks of a woman's pregnancy.

It would have limited abortion to cases of rape or where the mother's health is at serious risk.

But the PP have continued to seek restrictions on 16 and 17-year-olds seeking abortions, and after the vote their proposal could come into law by June.

Related Topics

More on this story