The Spanish government and its Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero are pushing for a change in the way that abortions can be conducted in the country. But a new poll released yesterday, shows how divided the mainly Catholic, Spanish people are about this emotive subject.

According to the poll around 46% oppose any relaxation of the present laws, while the other 44% want to see more liberal terms for legal abortions. The present set of rules are 25 years old, and only allow the termination in the case of rape, or if there is evidence that the fetus is having difficulty in developing.

There is a third option where the pregnancy is considered a psychological risk to the mother. This is often considered to be a catchall reasoning to allow virtual abortion on demand. Under the new regulations any woman of legal age (16) will be entitled to a termination up to 14 weeks, they will also be allowed at 22 weeks if the baby has development problems.

One issue that is also dividing the nation is the idea that a doctor will have a legal responsibility to conduct abortions, even if he has moral or religious objections to doing so. Even more concerning for many, is the idea that not condoning a legal abortion request could land a doctor in jail.