Madrid/Palma.— A controversial plan to ban women in Spain from freely opting for abortions overcame a key hurdle yesterday  when lawmakers voted in secret against a motion to scrap the reform.
The plan has outraged pro-choice groups and brought thousands of people out onto the streets to protest, but has sparked division even within the conservative ruling party.
Lawmakers rejected a proposal submitted by the opposition Socialists to “immediately withdraw” the bill by 183 votes to 151. Six lawmakers abstained.
The ruling Partido Popular  (PP) holds a strong majority in parliament, but the abortion reform, supported by the Roman Catholic Church, has been delayed amid disse


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