Spain gets new abortion law, menstrual leave and free pill

by Lorraine Williamson

Spain gets a new abortion law. For example, abortion will be a right for all women aged 16, no parental consent is required, there will be menstrual leave and a free pill. This article lists all the matters that will be in force in Spain from the beginning of 2023. 

The reforms of the current abortion law should protect abortion in public hospitals. Currently, 85% of abortions are currently performed in private clinics. Consequently, this means that abortion is only possible for a select group. 

These measures and other changes related to contraception, menstruation and pregnancy were approved by the Spanish government on Tuesday, August 30. The bill changes will be discussed in Congress in the coming weeks and are expected to take effect in early 2023. 

Changes to current abortion law in Spain 

Under the new abortion law, abortion will be allowed for minors aged 16 and 17 in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Moreover, this may take place without parental consent. The mandatory reflection period of three days will also be abolished. Therefore, women will be allowed to decide for themselves how much time they take to make a final decision. In the meantime, agencies can offer support to make a considered choice. 

Cogesa Expats

Furthermore, the abortion law is not the only thing that will change in Spain. Minister Irene Montero of the Ministry of Equality has also committed herself to the following matters. 

  • Sick leave during menstruation when women are suffering by this to go to work
  • Mandatory sex education in schools where the schools will also hand out contraceptives
  • There will be a register for doctors who have conscientious objection to abortion. These people will not be allowed to perform abortions in private healthcare
  • Free contraceptive pill and morning after pill. Contraceptive methods for men will be promoted
  • Mandatory and paid leave for women after the 39th week of pregnancy and in the event of an abortion;
  • Menstrual products are provided free of charge in schools, social centres and women’s prisons. 

During the press conference after the Council of Ministers, Minister Montero spoke of a breakthrough in this area: “The right to decide about one’s own body is part of the right to health and is a measure of the democratic quality of our country”. 

No tax reduction on menstrual products 

Unfortunately, the minister had to give up on a number of other demands. Minister Montero demanded a lower VAT on tampons, sanitary towels and other menstrual products. At the moment this is 10% and the minister wanted to reduce it to 4% or rather abolish it. This requirement has not been met at the moment, but the minister has indicated that it will include it in the state budget for 2023. 

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