The Council of Ministers of Spain approved on Tuesday the reform of the Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy – known as the abortion law -, which will guarantee this right in public hospitals and without the need for parental consent in the case of women aged 16 and 17 and with disabilities, in addition to establishing sick leave due to incapacitating rules and paid leave from the 39th week of pregnancy.
These are the key points announced by the Government on the reform of the abortion law:
access to abortion
- Women aged 16 and 17 and those with disabilities may voluntarily interrupt their pregnancy without the need for the consent of their legal guardians.
- Abortion will be guaranteed in the public hospital closest to the woman’s home to avoid displacement.
- The 3 days of reflection and the mandatory prior information are eliminated when a woman decides to interrupt her pregnancy.
- Women who undergo this intervention will be entitled to a period of sick leave while they recover.
- The morning-after pill will be free in health centers and will be available in all pharmacies.
- It is regulated by first time in Europe that women who have painful and disabling menses can receive a temporary disability paid by the State.
- Feminine hygiene products will be free in schools, prisons and social services.
Pregnancy and childbirth
- A prepartum leave is created from the 39th week of gestation that will be compatible with the subsequent maternity leave.
- Good gynecological-obstetric and delivery practices will be promoted based on international and national guidelines.
- Reproductive exploitation, forced abortion and pregnancy, as well as forced sterilization and contraception, are recognized as “violence against women”.
Sex education and contraceptives
- Sex education will be mandatory at all educational stages.
- The free distribution of contraceptives will be guaranteed in educational centers, penitentiary centers and social services centers.
- Public centers for comprehensive and specialized care in sexual and reproductive rights will be created, as well as a hotline.