April 13. 2024. 5:44

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Spanish lawmakers approve abortion, transgender rights reforms

Reforms to the country’s abortion rules and new legislation allowing teenagers over the age of 16 to change their gender without permission from a doctor or psychologist were approved by Spanish lawmakers on Thursday.

The separate packages tabled by the country’s left-wing coalition were approved by Congress, Spain’s lower house, despite opinions on transgender rights differing within the government and right-wing groups showing their opposition to abortion proposals.

The abortion reforms will permit those over 16 to access abortion services without parental consent – something required for the under-18s until now – and enshrine the right to get an abortion in a public clinic.

The reforms also include paid menstrual leave, making Spain the first European country to introduce it.

A separate, new law passed on Thursday expands transgender rights in Spain, allowing people over 16 to officially change their registered gender without medical supervision.

People aged between 14 and 16 can do so with parental consent while those aged 12-14 will need legal approval.

The so-called transgender law was championed by the Socialist Party’s left-wing junior partner Unidas Podemos and highlighted ideological differences in the government amid pushbacks from some feminist groups.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)