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HEALTHCARE CONTROVERSY

Conservative justice to take over abortion case, say sources

Opus Dei member does not hide his personal stance against abortion and gay marriage

One of the new justices on the Constitutional Court, Andrés Ollero Tassara, a former Popular Party (PP) deputy known for his staunch stances against abortion and homosexual marriage, has reportedly been given the task to write the top bench's opinion on the abortion law appeal, according to court sources. In the last legislature the PP, then in opposition, appealed against the Socialist government reform which gives women the right to terminate their pregnancies up to the 14th week of gestation.

Ollero Tassara was given cases that had been assigned to Justice Elisa Pérez Vera, including the abortion brief, which she had been working on and which was well-advanced in the draft stage, the sources said.

Ollero Tassara and three other new justices appointed to the Constitutional Court last month took control of several cases assigned to other justices.

When reached by EL PAÍS on Monday, Ollero Tassara said he wasn't sure if he would get the abortion case, but said that it was among those Pérez Viera was working on.

When asked whether he should abstain from taking the case because of his personal views about abortion and homosexual marriage, Ollero Tassara said: "I don't even know the [gay marriage] case" and the abortion filing "is not on the docket" for legal study.

A member of Opus Dei, Ollero Tassara has been critical in a number of papers and studies about the abortion law, which was relaxed under the previous Zapatero government. The PP wants to eliminate on-demand abortion and return to a system of justified exceptions to illegality.