Spain to make abortion a public health right, end parental consent for over 16s

Sources from Spain’s equality ministry confirmed to EFE on Wednesday (11 May) that the draft legislation was in its final stages. Media outlet Cadena SER said it would be submitted for cabinet approval on Tuesday (17 May), EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported. [Shutterstock/Imaxe Press]

Spain is finalising the details of a draft law that would guarantee the right to seek an abortion in the country’s free public healthcare system and scrap the requirement for 16-year-olds and above to obtain parental consent.

Sources from Spain’s equality ministry confirmed to EFE on Wednesday (11 May) that the draft legislation was in its final stages. Media outlet Cadena SER said it would be submitted for cabinet approval on Tuesday (17 May), EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.

While the final details of the proposed law are not clear, one of the notable shifts is the scrapping of parental permission for 16 and 17-year-olds, a measure that was introduced by the former conservative government in 2015.

Over the last few months, Equality Minister Irene Montero, a member of the left-wing Unidas Podemos party, the junior partner in Spain’s Socialist Party-led coalition, has been hinting at some of the measures she is pushing to include in the new law.

Montero told a recent press conference that public health workers opposed to abortion would be able to opt-out in a similar measure to that applied in the country’s new law on euthanasia.

The proposed law would also introduce sick days for women who suffer from severe period pains, make feminine hygiene products available for free at centres of education and lower VAT on those products in shops.

In Spain, voluntary abortions are legal in the first 14 weeks of gestation or later on if the pregnancy poses a health threat.

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