SPAIN – Information on the recent approval of two laws in Spain

I. Reform of the law on SRHR and abortion – allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to have an abortion without parental consent and enshrining the right to have an abortion in a public hospital. Over 80% of abortions carried out in Spain are currently done in private clinics, with many doctors in the public health system refusing to provide them, citing religious reasons.

This positive reform by the Parliament follows an attempt by the right-wing Popular Party to knock down a 2010 law that allows abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The country’s Constitutional Court rejected their challenge to that law last week.

Other changes brought about as part of the law reform:

o  offering free menstrual products in schools and prisons, and free hormonal contraceptives and the morning after pill at state-run health centres.
o  regulation of conscientious objection by health personnel so that it does not impede access to abortion in the public health system.
o elimination of the 3-day reflection period and of the obligation to provide information on maternity benefits.
o  paid leave before childbirth, from the 39th week until the moment of birth.
o  respect for the choice between surgical or pharmacological abortion, which should be available in all public facilities.
o  compulsory comprehensive sexual education at all stages of education.
o  menstrual leave of three days, extendable to five days.

II. Law for the real and effective equality of trans people and for the guarantee of the rights of LGBTI people

This law, long demanded by the Spanish LGBTI movement, has achieved its main objectives. Among its most important clauses are the following:

o  Depathologisation – Trans people are legally no longer considered sick, as the WHO has already indicated.
o  Self-determination of gender – removes the previous requirement of going through a judge, psychiatrist or psychologist, and instead can be obtained by appearing before the person in charge of the Civil Registry without means of proof and without witnesses, through a simple administrative procedure, (at least for the following two changes, a third change requires a judicial process).
o  The change of name in the Civil Registry is allowed at any age, with the consent of the parents in case of a minor.
o  The change of sex in the Civil Registry is allowed from the age of 16 and under the same conditions as adults. The change is allowed from the age of 14 if the parents or guardians consent, without the need for judicial proceedings. (If there is disagreement between the guardians, a judicial process will be necessary). The change of sex is allowed between 12 and 13 years old, through a judicial decision accompanied by their guardians.
o  Lesbian, bisexual and single women will once again have access to assisted reproduction techniques after 7 years without access to this right in the National Health System (this right existed previously, but was eliminated by the previous government of the right). Likewise, trans people with the capacity to gestate will have access under the same conditions.
o  The sons and daughters of lesbian or bisexual women or pregnant transgender people, with a partner, will automatically be considered children of both, even if they are not married.
o  Conversion therapy, in any form, intended to change a person’s sexual orientation or identity or gender expression is prohibited.
o  Fundamental rights for intersex people are legislated for the first time, such as the right not to suffer any mutilation at birth and not to have to be registered as one sex or another that they could not have defined during the first months of life.
o  A national strategy against discrimination against LGBT people will be created.
o  A national strategy for the social inclusion of trans people will be created.

Hoping you will celebrate with us!

SOURCE: Filomena Ruggiero, SEDRA: Federacion de Planificacion Familiar, E-mail: 20 February 2023