MADRID, Spain (ChurchMilitant.com) - The pro-life Vox Party of Spain is offering hope to unborn babies in the form of a proposal to recognize, from the moment of conception, their juridical status as human beings.
Vox, which is the only pro-life political party in Spain, introduced a measure in Congress Friday that calls for modifying the country's civil-registry law so that the parents of a baby in utero can register the child with "full legal effect" from "the moment of conception."
As detailed on the congressional website, the non-binding measure holds that while a nasciturus (unborn child) is as yet "not a legal person," he must enjoy a State-protected "legal right to life," according to a 1985 Spanish Supreme Court ruling.
The measure explains that registering an unborn child offers "numerous benefits" for the unborn baby himself and for the expectant family — such as "mere recognition of his existence and of his eventual death if the pregnancy is terminated." Among the benefits to the nasciturus are inheritance, ownership or co-ownership of a family business, and recognition of filiation for the purposes of ongoing matrimonial and/or inheritance proceedings.
According to the measure, the drafters referred to a classic precedent found in Roman law: Nasciturus pro iam nato habetur, quotiens de commodis eius agitur, which, translated from the original Latin, reads: "The unborn is deemed to have been born to the extent that his own benefits are concerned." The principle was cited when Queen Victoria inherited the throne of Great Britain in 1837. It specified that while she inherited the throne from her uncle, King William IV, the child to be born of William's wife, Adelaide, would have a prior claim based on primogeniture.
As drafted by Vox, registration of an unborn child would allow parents to request the services of medical specialists in the case of need and to request a designation of nationality. The party proposes that the child's registration be made "from the moment of conception" when "so requested by one or both parents." It is they who would compel the registration.
The proposed measure cites various legal precedents that recognize certain rights of unborn persons. The proposal noted, "It is extremely paradoxical that the unborn child is not considered a person but is allowed to appear in person in a legal proceeding."
In December 2020, Vox introduced a similar proposal in Congress — one that called for recognizing the unborn child as a family member for the purposes of petitioning for school placement.
Vox, which most legacy media describe as "far-right," has championed traditional values, including the right to life, parental authority, religious liberty, the traditional definition of sex and marriage and freedom of speech. On Monday, for instance, party spokesman Jorge Buxadé slammed the ruling socialist government for opening up Spain to foreign tourists while seeking to "steal Holy Week" from locals. He said, "They've decided to steal Holy Week from Spaniards and their participation in religious acts, as well as vacation from the children of those who still have a job." Referring to the drastic coronavirus lockdown imposed by the socialists, he went on to say that the government "has put millions of Spaniards under house arrest and put the national economy at risk."
With a populist bent, Vox currently has 52 seats among the 161 minority seats in the lower chamber of Congress, while an assortment of 13 leftist parties has an effective 155-seat majority. An opportunity for Vox and centrist parties emerged when Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the leftist Podemos Party, announced Monday that he is leaving government to run on May 4 as his party's candidate to preside over the metropolitan authority of Madrid. Podemos is further to the left than the socialists and is essential to maintaining the leftist majority in government. The job is currently held by Isabel Díaz — a rising star of the centrist Popular Party (PP) — who has been criticized by Vox for her handling of the COVID response and for conceding on LGBTQ issues.
Last week, the coalition government of Madrid collapsed when PP broke with the center-left Ciudadanos Party, prompting Díaz to call for elections. This came just before Ciudadanos left the coalition legislature in the Murcia province, thus further shaking up Spanish politics. While Vox cried foul, the socialist government and another leftist party objected to the call for a snap election and moved to censure Díaz.
Vox has pressed the Popular Party and Díaz to adopt policies more in keeping with traditional values and Catholic voters' wishes. Vox leader Santiago Abascal tweeted last week that PP is apparently incapable of halting the "most radical left" in government. He called for elections in Madrid, Andalucía and Castilla y Leon, where Vox has legislative majorities to excise any centrists or leftists wavering on support for traditional values.
Spanish politics has downstream consequences for the United States too. Currently, the United States Africa Command is headquartered in Germany. While the Biden administration is currently considering the folding of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa into a unified command, the Vox party is calling on the government to convince the United States of the benefits of locating the Africa headquarters in Spain. The United States has had bases in Spain for decades, having reached an agreement in the 1950s to build three air bases and the naval base at Rota that were extensively used during the Cold War and, afterward, during Middle Eastern conflicts. A Vox spokesperson said that having headquarters in Spain would benefit the local economy and bilateral relations with the United States.