Spain approves abortion, menstrual pain law

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Spain has introduced new laws as part of a broad reproductive health reform that will grant women the right to take paid sick leave for severe menstrual pain as well as allow for abortions.

On Tuesday, The Spanish parliament passed a draft abortion law yesterday which will allow women from the age of 16 to terminate pregnancies without the permission of their parents.

“We are making a law that will ensure that women can live better,” Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

The passed legislation will phase out a 2015 abortion law that required parental consent for abortions for women aged 16 and 17.

The new laws will see that contraceptive pills be free to users on the national health service. The law also states that surrogate pregnancy, which is illegal in Spain, is a form of violence against women.

In 2020, the Spanish health ministry recorded 88,269 abortions, of which 84.5 per cent were carried out in private health centres. The law sets out to establish a formal register of doctors who want to opt-out of carrying out abortions on religious grounds.

“We are advancing feminism. Women should be able to decide freely about their lives,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter.

Under the reform, schools will be required to provide sanitary products to girls and workers experiencing period pain are allowed three days of optional medical leave a month, with two additional days permitted in exceptional cases. This will be paid by the state’s social security system.

Menstrual leave is offered by a few countries such as South Korea, Japan, Zambia and Indonesia. Spain would become the first European country to enforce the law.

 

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