They approve that law expands rights to abortion and trans

The Spanish Parliament on Thursday approved legislation that expands abortion and transgender rights for adolescents, while making Spain the first country in Europe to grant paid menstrual leave.

The promoter of the two laws was the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, of the Unidas Podemos party, one of the allies in the left-wing coalition government.

Changes to sexual and reproductive rights mean that 16 and 17 year olds in Spain will be able to have an abortion without parental consent. There will be free period products in schools and prisons, while state health centers will follow suit for hormonal contraceptives and the morning-after pill. Furthermore, menstrual leave will allow workers with debilitating pain to take paid time off.

In addition, the changes enshrine in law the right to have an abortion in a state hospital. Currently, more than 80% of these procedures in Spain are performed in private clinics due to a high number of doctors in the public system who refuse to perform them, many for religious reasons.

Under the new system, doctors at state hospitals will not be required to perform abortions, as long as they have registered their objections in writing.


A separate package of reforms also approved by lawmakers on Thursday strengthened the rights of transgender people, including the ability for any citizen over the age of 16 to legally change their registered gender without medical supervision.

Minors between 12 and 13 years old will need authorization from the judge to change, while those between 14 and 16 years old must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

Previously, transgender people needed a gender dysphoria diagnosis from multiple doctors. The second law also bans so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ people and provides state support for lesbians and single women seeking IVF treatment.

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