Spain: pioneering law on abortion rights and menstrual leave

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Spain: a pioneering law on the right to abortion and menstrual leave

The private clinic Dator, in Madrid, where doctors perform abortions.

Spain's parliament on Thursday passed a law that allows girls aged 16 and 17 to have abortions without parental consent and, for the first time in a European country, provides state-funded paid leave for women who suffer from painful periods.

These advances allow us to exercise freedom over our bodies, with the state recognizing full citizenship for more than half the population, Equalities Minister Irene Montero told parliament. The law was passed with 190 votes in favour, 154 against and 5 abstentions.

Spain's ruling left-wing coalition had introduced the bill – opposed by the anti-abortion activists and the Catholic Church – in May in an effort to ensure nationwide access to abortion and end the taboo of menstruation at work.

< p class="e-p">The new law removes the mandatory three-day cooling-off period before performing an abortion and allows young people between the ages of 16 and 17 to have an abortion without parental or guardian permission. This obligation was put in place by the conservative government of the People's Party in 2015.

The text also provides for paid leave for pregnant women from the 39th week, assures the distribution free menstrual hygiene products in public establishments such as schools, prisons or health centers, and also stipulates that surrogacy (surrogacy), illegal in Spain, is a form of violence against women. x27;against women.

Lourdes Mendez, of the far-right Vox party, said the law violated the Constitution and upset the system of values ​​in the country. Spain.

Sonia Lamas, spokesperson for the Dator Women's Health Clinic, told Reuters in an interview in May that the clinic welcomes the measures.

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