Next ACDC meeting, Julián Albaladejo on ”Contemporary Anti-abortion Discourse in Spain: between Christian and Secular Legislation” 19th January, UvA Bungehuis, Spuistraat 210, room 015

Dear ACDC members,

We kindly invite you to attend the next ACDC meeting. Julián Albaladejo, a Research MA in Linguistics student at the UvA will give a talk on contemporary anti-abortion discourse in Spain.

  • DATE: 19th January
  • TIME: 15:30 – 17:00
  • PLACE: University of Amsterdam Bungehuis (Spuistraat 210) room 015

Abstract: In 2010, Zapatero’s Socialist Government Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy was passed. It meant a radical change from the first law on abortion (1985) and specified women’s rights to choose for abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, or 22 weeks in case of health risks or deformation of the foetus. However, in 2011 the conservative Christian-democrat People’s Party (PP) came into power and proposed a reformed, more restrictive, Law on the Protection of the Conceived that would have “ended the right of women to decide freely without having to provide a reason” (El País, 2014).

This study concerns the contemporary anti-abortion discourse in Spain. As a case study, I will discuss methods of analysis of a broadcast interview with the former Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruíz-Gallardón (PP) to analyse how he negotiates self-responsibility and traditionally opposed ideologies with the public. I have focused on (1) changes in footing (Goffman, 1981) and grammatical person to characterise the negotiation, (2) how women are represented in this interview (Van Leeuwen, 1996) (3) lexical and argumentational features of ideological construction. The results reveal the tension between Gallardon’s attempt to address the broad public, while maintaining his conservative ideology, veering between stressing his personal challenge and the public interest, between secular and Christian principles and between women’s rights and their traditional role.

The findings reveal some rhetorical aspects of political discourse around one of the most contentious issues in Spanish politics today and illustrate new ideological patterns of reasoning that are increasingly characteristic of Spanish political discourse.


  • Goffman, E (1981) Forms of Talk. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, l98l; Oxford: Basil Blackwell, l98l.
  • Van Leeuwen, T. (1996) The representation of social actors. C.R. Caldas-Coulthard and M. Coulthard (eds.) Texts and practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis. London & New York: Routledge, 32-70.

We look forward to seeing you,

The ACDC conveners

Julian Albaladejo, Bertie Kaal, Joyce Lamerichs, Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Steve Oswald, Neil Thompson


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