New law on abortion in Spain will include sick leave due to painful menstruation

(CNN) — The Council of Ministers of Spain approved this Tuesday a reform of the Law of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy that dates from the year 2010, better known as the abortion law, by which minors under 16 and 17 will be allowed years who request this benefit without parental consent or that women who prove to suffer from painful and incapacitating menstruation can obtain sick leave for the days they need according to their medical chart.

“We are the first country in Europe to regulate for the first time a temporary disability paid in full by the State for painful and incapacitating rules,” said Irene Montero, Minister of Equality of the Government of Spain, when she presented the reform and emphasized the new relative rights to menstrual health that would welcome the text. Specifically, assuming the expenses derived from temporary leave due to incapacitating menstruation will suppose an outlay equivalent to about US $ 25 million, according to Montero.

Among the different measures that this reform will include, there is also an improvement in access to abortion, making it easier for this to be a guaranteed service in all public health centers and eliminating the so-called three-day reflection period that was applied until now before submitting a patient to the process of voluntary termination of pregnancy. In addition, the possibility is incorporated for women to request temporary disability after interrupting the pregnancy with the aim of facilitating their recovery after the intervention.

In order to promote greater accessibility and co-responsibility with regard to contraception, the reform promotes the development of male hormonal contraception and expands public financing of the methods intended for this purpose, including the morning-after pill, which will be distributed free of charge in health centers and specialized sexual and reproductive health services.

Similarly, this text provides for compulsory training in sex education at all educational levels. An education that will be aimed at improving the knowledge of the youngest to prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, promote the understanding of sexual health with a gender perspective and give visibility to sexual diversity.

Following the announcement of the reform at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, celebrated its approval with a message on his personal Twitter account where he highlighted that with this measure “we are advancing in feminism; women must be able to decide freely about their lives.”

These measures, which have their legal equivalent in a bill, will be processed in the Courts by way of urgency, according to Montero. In this way, over the next few weeks, it is expected that the Cortes Generales will receive the text and be able to rule on it in a shorter procedure than the one that would be carried out by ordinary means.

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