Police Protection Pledged to Striking Clinics in Spain

Government officials in Madrid have pledged to protect abortion providers from violence and harassment after approximately 40 clinics began a five-day strike on Tuesday.

Soledad Mestre, a government delegate to Madrid, said local abortion clinics could solicit police protection against death threats or acts involving graffiti made by ultra-conservative or neo- Nazi groups.

The clinics began the strike to protest what they said was persecution by anti-abortion campaigners and government inspectors, who have swept clinics in recent weeks to crack down on illegal terminations. Recently, clinics have been vandalized and abortion providers have been harassed—and even assaulted—by anti-abortion protesters, according to the Association of Accredited Abortion Clinics, which organized the strike.

The striking clinics provide the majority of abortions in the country and the strike is estimated to affect as many as 2,000 women. However, the clinics are still accepting emergency cases during the strike.

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