efe-epaMadrid

Two Spanish feminist activists faced a trial in Madrid Friday for demonstrating topless in a pro-abortion protest at a cathedral in the capital in 2014.

The members of feminist activist group Femen attended the first day of a trial at a criminal court in Madrid accused of a crime against religious sentiments for demonstrating topless in favor of abortion at the main altar of the Almudena Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid, in 2014.

Their lawyer said the protest aimed to foster dialogue over a controversial proposed reform tabled by the former conservative Popular Party government's Minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, which would have seen female abortion rights severely curbed.

Prosecutors have requested a nine-month prison sentence for both activists, although according to the penal code they could face up to two years prison.